AEGON International: stars set to shine as main draw gets underway

Martina Hingis will be in doubles action at Devonshire Park
Martina Hingis will be in doubles action at Devonshire Park

A host of stars take to the courts on Monday at the Aegon International with the No.1 seed, two former world No.1s and a former US Open champion all in action as the main draws get underway at Devonshire Park.

Top seed and world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska takes on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second match on Centre Court (not before 1pm). The pair’s last three matches were hard fought battles with Radwanska narrowly clinching their most recent match in Seoul last year and leading their head-to-head record 4-1 overall.

In the third match on centre court, former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki will be looking to repeat the form that carried her to the title in Eastbourne in 2009. She’ll take on one of the hardest hitters in women’s tennis – 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur (AUS) ­– for a place in the second round.

Also in action on the opening day of main draw play is five-time Grand Slam singles and nine-time Grand Slam doubles champion Martina Hingis. Returning to Eastbourne main draw doubles action for the first time since 1999, she’ll team up with Flavia Pennetta (ITA) to take on Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) and Elena Vesnina (RUS) in the fifth match on Centre Court.

No.5 seed in the men’s Draw, Ivo Karlovic (CRO) opens proceedings on Centre Court on Monday, taking on Jeremy Chardy (FRA), while Britain’s Daniel Evans faces qualifier Tobias Kamke (GER) in the second match on Court 1, and fellow Brit Kyle Edmund plays Sam Querrey (USA) in the fourth match on Centre Court (not before 4pm).

Sunday’s Rally for Bally charity match was a resounding success, raising funds for the Elena Baltacha Foundation and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Radwanska and Colin Fleming teamed up to defeat Greg Rusedski and Petra Kvitova in a tiebreak after a close-fought set saw the match poised at 5 games-all.

After the match Rusedski spoke of the impact Baltacha’s loss had on the tennis community. “It was a shock to everybody…It was very sad as she had the rest of her life to enjoy, and start a family and do whatever she wanted to do with her life.” And he said he hoped Rally For Bally would have a positive impact on the sport. “It’s going to bring more people to the game, get people playing,” he said.

Fleming added, “It was a pleasure to come out and play and to share a court with Greg, and two phenomenal players, Agnieszka and Petra. I was proud to be a part of it. Bally touched so many people, I know she had a great following whenever she played here.”

Qualifying for the Aegon International concluded on Sunday with top two seeds Tobias Kamke (GER) and Blaz Rola (SLO) among those claiming main draw berths in the men’s event, and 2012 champion Tamira Paszek (AUT), Karolina Pliskova (CZE) and Christina McHale (USA) among the qualifiers for the women’s main draw.

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