It was a thoroughly enjoyable first day of the AEGON Eastbourne International as the women’s qualifying draw got underway as Ying-Ying Duan progressed to the second qualifying round courtesy of British player Katy Dunne in what was the pick of the day’s games.
The 286th ranked Dunne battled well in what was a closely fought contest, but in the end the older and savvier Duan prevailed. Elsewhere it was a mixed bag for the other Brits that were in action in the qualifying draw, as all three went out.
Gabriella Taylor lost in straight sets to American Lauren Davis, while Harriet Dart and Katie Swan both lost to Francesca Schiavone and Varvara Lepchenko.
Dunne crashes out to Duan in a three set thriller on court two
The first action of the day saw Dunne faceoff against Duan and it certainly didn’t disappoint. But eventually experience told as Duan progressed winning 6-7, 6-4, 6-7.
The 286th ranked Dunne played superbly well throughout the contest. But it was Duan who was victorious despite receiving medical attention three games into the second set.
It was a good start from both players as they were looking for a place in the second qualifying round. Duan, the more experienced of the two displayed her ferocious forehand as well her precise serve early on as she looked to take the initiative. But the Hemel Hempstead born, Dunne weathered the early barrage and won the first set courtesy of a tight tie-break.Embed from Getty Images
The start of the second set was again similar to the first. Even though Duan was higher in the rankings it wasn’t particularly showing. And shortly after the third game of the second set Duan called for medical assistance and was down for quite a while with what looked to be a back injury – but the 63rd ranked player didn’t seem to show any ill effects of her injury as she powered through and produced some good tennis to level the game with a second set victory.
With the game heading into the final set, it was all to play for. Again much like the majority of proceedings there was nothing in it; both players were unable to pull ahead on the scoreboard. Dunne was playing some nice shots and at one point she was within touching distance of the second qualifying round.
But Duan, who reached the Australian Open third round this year fought back and took the final set to a tie-break, and in the end the experience paid off as Duan will now face Veronica Cepede Royg in the next round.
All round good tennis as the AEGON International got off to a good start
In the days other games, the pick of the results included Tsvetana Pironkova’s victory over Marketa Vondrousova on court four, and on court three Germany’s Mona Berthel fought back to beat Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.
Full day one results:
- Ying-Ying Duan (Chn) beat Katy Dunne (GB) 6-7, 6-4, 6-7
- Sorana Cirstea (Rou) beat Fangzhou Liu (Chn) 6-1, 6-2
- Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) beat Marketa Vondrousova (Cze) 6-2, 6-2
- Lauren Davis (USA) beat Gabriella Taylor (GB) 6-0, 6-2
- Veronica Cepede Royg (Par) beat Sara Errani (Ita) (6-1, 6-2)
- Lara Arruabarrena (Spa) beat Richel Hogenkamp (Ned) (5-7, 6-1, 7-6)
- Harriet Dart (GB) lost to Francesca Schiavone (Ita) 2-6, 2-6
- Mona Berthel (Ger) beat Beatriz Haddad Maia (Bra) 3-6, 7-6, 7-5
- Kristina Kucova (Svk) beat Mandy Minella (Lux) 7-6, 6-7, 2-0 (Minella retired)
- Varvara Lepchenko (USA) beat Katie Swan (GB) 6-1, 7-6
- Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) v Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) 5-7, 7-6, 7-5
- Jacqueline Cako (USA) lost to Risa Ozaki (Jpn) 5-7, 6-0
Ties to be played tomorrow (June 24):
- Davis v Schiavone
- Barthel v Kucova
- Arruabarrena v Pironkova
- Cirstea v Hsieh
- Duan v Cepede Royg
- Lepchenko v Ozaki
Image credits – Getty Images: Ben Hoskins & Charlie Crowhurst