Laura Robson, Britain’s great hope, put up a great fight before bowing out to Ekaterina Makarova – the 2010 Eastbourne winner and conqueror of Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
The Russian was in control on Court 1, but made hard work of dismissing the Devonshire Park debutant to register a 6-4 7-5 over the teenager.
Makarova’s strong serves and tight angle flat shots left plucky Robson chasing the match.
Robson, aged 18, admitted:
I played pretty well but she played extremely well, she’s definitely suited to the grass courts.
“I competed well, and there are still lots of things that can be improved. But in terms of where I was a few months ago, I think it’s a big improvement already.
“When she broke at the end of the second set, I just missed a few first serves and she took advantage of that.
“I’ve been trying for the last few months to work on movement and on my serve, both are improving.
“I’ve always thought that I could beat these girls, but I definitely have to bring my A game – I have to be really mentally ready for it.”
Robson hit two backhand errors at 2-2, missing out on two break points, and fluffed a forehand to concede the single break that proved decisive in the opening set.
But the second was a close run battle with Robson moving through the gears to show a typical British never say die attitude.
But a single below par service game by Robson proved costly. At 5-5 on Robson began with a double fault and nervously missed shots to falter without winning a point. The impressive Makarova serving out for a deserved victory.