AEGON International: British player Cox eyes main draw after qualifying progress

Dan Cox
Dan Cox
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Sunday’s action at the Aegon International sees two British players in final round qualifying with Daniel Cox and Daniel Smethurst both winning through their opening two rounds at Devonshire Park.

Lancashire’s Cox posted a confident, straight-sets win over Rhett Purcell in the first round of qualifying, and moved through to round three when, leading the opening set of his second round match 3-0, his opponent Michael Russell (USA) withdrew due to illness.

Cox, who has been awarded a wildcard for Wimbledon, will play Australian Chris Guccione for a main draw berth in the third match on Court 3 on Sunday.

Cox’s fellow Lancastrian Daniel Smethurst beat Britain’s Joe Salisbury 7-5 6-7 6-4 after a two-hour battle that saw him break Salisbury’s serve to clinch the match. S

methurst went on to win his second round qualifying match in straight sets against India’s Somdev Devvarman and will face No.2 seed Blaz Rola in the third match on Court 1 on Sunday.

James Marsalek came within a whisker of joining his British compatriots in the final round of qualifying at the Aegon International, beating India’s Divij Sharan in straight sets before conceding a battle royale against No.3 seed Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1 3-6 7-6(5).

In women’s qualifying, top seed Karolina Pliskova narrowly beat Teliana Perriera 7-5 6-7 6-3 with No.2 seed Christina McHale beating Britain’s Samantha Murray in straight sets.

Elsewhere, 2012 Aegon International champion Tamira Paszek started her 2014 campaign in promising style, defeating Britain’s Katie Boulter 6-3 6-1.

Paszek will take on Anna Tatishvili in second match on court No.1 on Sunday.

Boulter’s countrywomen Tara Moore, Jade Windley and Naomi Broady all fell in the opening round of qualifying.

Sunday’s exciting line-up also sees tournament top seed Agnieszka Radwanska, No.2 seed Petra Kvitova and Great Britain’s Colin Fleming and Greg Rusedski face off in The Rally for Bally. The charity match will be one of three played across the country on Sunday in memory of Former British No.1 Elena Baltacha who succumbed to liver cancer in May.

Every penny raised at the matches played at the Aegon International, the Aegon Championships at Queen’s and the Aegon Classic in Birmingham on Sunday will be split equally between the Elena Baltacha Foundation which supports the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis, and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Tickets to the Aegon International are on sale now. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit www.aegoninternational.co.uk