2012 Ladies Singles – Wednesday’s Results

Angelique Kerber, Ekaterina Makarova, Laura Robson, Lucie Safarova, Marion Bartoli, Results, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International

2nd Round

Heather Watson lost 6-7 1-6 to Lucie Safarova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won 7-5 3-6 6-4 v Christina McHale

Angelique Kerber won 6-3 6-2 v Chanelle Scheepers

Laura Robson lost 4-6 5-7 to Ekaterina Makarova

Tsvetana Pironkova won 6-0 4-6 6-4 v Stephanie Dubois

Marion Bartoli won 6-2 6-2 v Aleksandra Wozniak

Tamira Paszek won 6-4 3-6 6-1 v Daniela Hantuchova

Petra Cetkovska lost 1-6 6-1 2-6 to Klara Zakopalova

Makarova ends great Brit

Ekaterina Makarova, Laura Robson, Petra Kvitova

Ekaterina Makarova2012aegonLaura 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.”laurarobsonEB2012

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.

2012 Ladies Singles – Tuesday’s Results

Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Vesnina, Laura Robson, Lucie Safarova, Marion Bartoli, Petra Kvitova, Results, Sorana Cirstea, Su-Wei Hsieh, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International

1st Round

Jie Zheng lost to 3-6 6-4 3-6 Klara Zakopalova

Ekaterina Makarova won 7-5 6-4 v Petra Kvitova

Angelique Kerber won 3-6 6-0 7-5 v Elena Vesnina

Agnieszka Radwanska lost 2-6 4-6 to Tsvetana Pironkova

Su-Wei Hsieh lost 2-6 0-3 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Christina McHale won 6-1 6-7 6-4 v Caroline Wozniacki

Laura Robson won 3-6 6-2 6-2 v Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez

Timea Babos lost 6-3 3-6 6-7 to Lucie Safarova

Petra Cetkovska won 3-6 6-2 6-1 v Andrea Hlavackova

Marion Bartoli won 6-2 6-2 v Sorana Cirstea

Greta Arn lost 3-6 4-6 to Heather Watson

Stephanie Dubois won 6-4 6-4 v Carla Suarez Navarro

Remarkable Robson

Laura Robson, WTA Players

LRobsonEB2012Laura Robson enjoyed her maiden main draw debut, whipping past experienced world no49 Spaniard Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez in 108 minutes.

The British teenager lost the opening set 6-3 but bounced back to secure a 2nd Round berth courtesy of a 3-6 6-2 6-2 success – each set taking 36 minutes to complete.

Robson kept the faith to dig deep, and thanks in part of the supportive – and often vocal – spectators the 18-year-old pulled off a sensational win.

The six-footer admitted:

“I was really happy with how I played in the second and third set, and the victory feels good in front of home fans.

“It’s a big win, but I know that I’m capable of wins like that – and I feel like I can play even better.

“I’m just really happy with how I competed today after the first set, because while my coach came on after the first set, we were sort of discussing a little bit what I can change.

“Because I didn’t really feel like I was doing that many things wrong. It was just one or two things that we needed to change so that’s what I did.

“I was happy to stay in the rally and just play deep, aggressive shots from the back until I had an opportunity. I think 12 months ago I probably would have just tried to hit a winner off the return.

“I have really had a fair few matches on grass this season, so I think I have that advantage over some of the other players.”

2012 Ladies Singles – Monday’s Results

Elena Vesnina, Laura Robson, Results, Tamira Paszek, WTA Players

2012 AEGON International

1st Round

Aleksandra Wozniak won 6-3 4-6 7-6 v Galina Voskoboeva

Anne Keothavong lost 2-6 3-6 to Daniela Hantuchova

Tamira Paszek won 7-5 6-1 v Marina Erakovic

Mona Barthel lost 1-6 6-4 1-6 to Chanelle Scheepers

Qualifying

Stephanie Dubois won 7-6 7-5 v Andrea Hlavackova

Bojana Jovanovski lost 2-6 3-6 to Laura Robson

Elena Vesnina won by walkover v Mirjana Lucic

Jade Windley lost 2-6 0-6 to Greta Arn

Robson races into main draw

Laura Robson, WTA Players

LRobsonEB2012Laura Robson, the British sensation, has made her way into the main draw at Eastbourne for the first time.

The 18-year-old saw off Serbian star Bojana Jovanovski in 73 minutes with a classy 6-2 6-3 triumph.

Robson, an former Junior Wimbledon champion aged just 14, faces Spaniard Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez next.

The Australian-born six-footer smiled:

“I’m really happy, I served well and put a lot of pressure on her serve.”

There’s something about Eastbourne

Laura Robson, News, Petra Kvitova, WTA Players

By Roger Hudson

eastbournetenniscourtsI love Eastbourne, and not just because I live here. This realisation occurs about half an hour after I arrive at Devonshire Park, home of the 2012 AEGON International, when it sinks in just how accessible and visible the practice courts are yet again.

At what other tournament could you watch Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion, practising her serve 10 feet away, in the company of two elderly gents in floppy sun hats and three teenage boys sniggering about sports bras?

If the indispensable Queen’s Club accessory is a membership card and a pint of Pimm’s, at Eastbourne it’s the floppy sun hat and a bulging cool bag or hamper.

People draw up folding chairs into circles on the lawns and chat, blissfully unaware of the tennis going on all around them.

And there are schoolchildren everywhere, presumably growing the game for the next generation, but in the meantime racing around in a frantic hunt for autographs.

To add to the homely atmosphere the players are called to the courts for their matches over the public address system, making it easy to track what’s happening everywhere.

The popular image of Eastbourne is a retirement town populated mainly by the elderly, but there’s plenty of youth on display at the tournament today, beginning with a qualifying match between Bojana Jovanovski and Laura Robson.

Bojana-JovanovskiEB2012Jovanovski and Robson are wearing the same kit, the colour of the skirt excepted and have the same hairstyle – but the similarities end there. Robson looked utterly in control, racing to a 6-2 lead, and Jovanovski called the trainer for an assessment early in the second.

I have absolutely no issues with grunting, but there’s an anguished tone to the sounds Jovanovski makes as she puts increasingly frustrated forehands long.

By comparison Robson is all effortless power, sending her big left-handed forehand down the other end of the court and making generating winners look as easy as winking.

Where the 18-year-old is vulnerable is when she is forced to move, retrieve and defend. But Jovanovski is having no success at putting Robson in that position.

The flourishes and many moving parts in the Serbian’s serve looked vulnerable compared to the efficiency of Robson’s motion, and the Brit quickly broke to lead 3-2 after two heavy forehand winners. She then broke Jovanovski for the match.

The key for the Robson was to dominate from the baseline without going for winners too soon.

Robson avoids Bally

Elena Vesnina, Laura Robson, News, WTA Players

Laura-Robsoneastbourne2011

And the six foot 18-year-old, has missed out on the third and final qualifying showdown with Fed Cup team-mate Elena Baltacha.

The British ace, now one match away from making her maiden main draw appearance at Eastbourne, has been in emphatic form with a mouthwatering match due against Baltacha – nicknamed ‘Bally’.

But the Scottish no1, whose career has been dogged by injury and illness, fell victim to yet another injury so was forced to withdraw from the tournament.

Fellow Brit, albeit only a British citizen since May 2012, Johanna Konta was unable to win her qualifying match to march on at Devonshire Park.

The former Australian, who splits her time between living in Eastbourne and with her parents in Hungary, fell 6-3 6-2 to Russian Elena Vesnina.

Battler Baltacha closes in

Laura Robson, WTA Players
elena-baltachaeb2012Elena Baltacha is one step away from the main draw, and has set up an all British encounter 3rd Qualifying Round clash against either teenager Laura Robson or compatriot Daniela Borthwick.

Baltacha, the Scottish no1, has always had a topsy-turvy career but brilliantly brushed aside world no108 Chang Kai-Chen of Chinese Tapei on grass for the second time in four days to earn a shot at a potential Centre Court appearance.

The British no2 dismissed Chang 7-5 6-2 on Saturday in 104 minutes to race to a showdown against the winner between former Junior Wimbledon champion Robson or Borthwick.

Baltacha explained:

“Chang’s very tricky on grass because she’s doesn’t go away and can suddenly ping winners out of nowhere.

“I am delighted to get through, especially because it was very windy out. I have always loved playing in Eastbourne, which always helps, and the crowd were great today.”

johanna-kontaEB2012British no6 Johanna Konta, based in Eastbourne, squeezed past her new compatriot Naomi Broady in a final set tiebreak 7-4 to earn a 3-6 6-1 7-6 success.

Former Australian citizen Konta, who splits her time between Eastbourne and her family in Hungary, admitted:

“It is tough playing against a fellow countrywoman because there is always that extra pressure, so I am just happy to have come out on top on that one.”

Barthel battered in Birmingham

Ekaterina Makarova, Elena Vesnina, Laura Robson, News, Players, WTA Players

Mona Barthel Beaten in BirminghamMona Barthel will arrive at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park keen to made amends for her poor performance on grass at Birmingham.

The German star, seeded no6 at the AEGON Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club, was ousted by Czech Republic stunner Andrea Hlavackova in straight sets.

The 25-year-old, a Doubles specialist who won the 2011 French Open with compatriot Lucie Hradecka without conceding a set, saw off Barthel 7-6 6-2.

American teenage sensation Christina McHale, set to make her Eastbourne debut this year, was ousted 6-1 1-6 7-5 in a ding-dong battle to Russian 29-year-old Elena Vesnina.

Fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova, seeded no8, was given the runaround in her 7-6 6-3 tussle to beat Kazakhstan’s Sesil Karatantcheva.

Ex-Eastbourne champion Makarova next faces New Zealand no1 Marina Erakovic – the no9 seed – who delivered the knockout blow to Britain’s Laura Robson 6-4 3-6 6-4.

And fellow Brit Melanie South put on a brave battling display before succumbing to former world no1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, seeded no5, 6-1 7-6.