By Ros Satar, in Eastbourne

  • Elena Vesnina def. Heather Watson 6-2 6-3
  • Monica Puig def. Naomi Broady 6-1 6-1
  • Ekaterina Makarova def. Tara Moore 7-5 6-4

EASTBOURNE, UK – It was a gloomy start in gloomy weather for the Brits who lost three of the main draw names on Monday at the Aegon international.

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Elena Vesnina def. Heather Watson 6-2 6-3

There were high hopes for Watson in this opening round, but Vesnina had been picking up the pace in recent tournaments and with just three places separating them in the rankings, it could have been a closer one.

Despite putting the Russian under pressure, it was Vesnina who struck first. After saving three break points of her own, she would strike with just her first in the first set, but compounding the wound but breaking to take the first set on her third set point.

Again when Watson had her chances she could not take them, although managed to fare better this time saving three break points of her own in the second set, before succumbing at the end of the set to allow Vesnina the chance to serve it out.

Watson said, after the match: “I definitely didn’t play well today. I felt really out of timing and slow to the ball, but I’m not taking anything away from Elena. She played very well.

“When I had my chances to come back and get into the match, she hit an ace or always made her first serve and played well.

“I’m a little bit like tired from waiting around. From Birmingham, I have just literally been doing this for like over a week. Tennis-wise, today I didn’t have a good day. But all in all, I have been feeling the ball really well. I feel really good heading into Wimbledon.”

 

Ekaterina Makarova def. Tara Moore 7-5 6-4

It has been really interesting to see Moore in person over these last few weeks. Never one to shy away from her opinions on social media, it has been fascinating to hear how she too has engaged in a coach for the outside influence around tennis.

 

There seems to be a maturity to her in her approach on court, where her tenacity does show, and off court where she admits it has been a long process.

She said, after the match: “I have made a lot of changes in my team. I’ve started to work with a life coach and he’s really helped me in a really positive way. I think there were a lot of things I needed to sort out off the court before I could put performances on the court, and I think that that’s definitely one of the biggest changes that I have made.

“I think I started a while ago and I do think it’s been a long process and I do think that now finally everything is coming together. “

 

Rounding out a grim day, as the fret rolled in off the sea, Broady was soundly trumped by Monica Puig.

Johanna Konta goes fourth on Centre Court, playing the winner of the match between Lesia Tsurenko and Zheng Shuai, who will start the day’s action on Court 4.

 

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