AEGON Surbiton Trophy – Day 1

After a washout on Tuesday, main draw action got underway at the AEGON Surbiton Trophy ITF/ATP challenger event.

Although play was delayed to 1 pm, meaning all the men’s singles matches were cancelled, the women’s singles got underway, with British hopefuls taking the stage in preparation for Wimbledon.

British number two Heather Watson was first up, playing Russian Alla Kudryavtseva.

The first set was very tightly contested, with the Russian’s flat, aggressive game troubling Watson.

However, a few points (and debatable line calls) here and there, most pivotally when the Russian was serving for the set at 5-4, went in Watson’s favor, and she claimed the 1st set tiebreak 7-2.

The second set was much more comfortable. Following an early saving of break points on her serve, Watson steamrolled to victory winning 7-6(2) 6-1.

Next up was an all-British clash between Tara Moore and eighth seed Naomi Broady.

After an even start, Broady found some momentum and her heavy hitting led her to the first set, 6-2. It was much of the same at the start of the second, and despite a brief resurgence in play from Moore, Broady got the job done in straight sets, 6-2 6-3.

The last singles match on Centre was Olympic silver medallist Laura Robson, up against 144th ranked New Zealander Marina Erakovic.

With GB Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong looking on, Robson won a tight first set 7-6. However, with the wind increasing in ferocity, Robson struggled with the tough conditions.

Following a break in the second, Erakovic ran away with the match, winning 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2.

Elsewhere, there were wins for American Danielle Lao, Australian Lizette Cabrera and third seeded Russian Evgeniya Rodina.

The men’s doubles also got underway, an event where the likes of Dustin Brown, Sam Groth and Denis Kudlaall progressed as the light began to fade.

Play will start early at 10:30 on Thursday, with a packed schedule and the prospect of some doubles matches being moved indoors to the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, should the weather deteriorate once more.

Freelance journalist Kieran Jackson is covering the British grass court summer in the lead up to Wimbledon for Tennis Now.

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