AEGON International tennis: Thursday round-up

Klara Zakopalova pictured: Jane Stokes
Klara Zakopalova pictured: Jane Stokes

Ladies’ quarterfinals day at the AEGON International kicked off on Centre Court with a straightforward win for defending champion Marion Bartoli against Lucie Safarova, 6-4, 6-2.

“So far I’m able to able to play well and to stay consistent into my matches, which is really important on grass,” said former Wimbledon finalist Bartoli.

“I’m feeling on good form right now. It’s good for me to have this kind of form before Wimbledon and obviously I will see how the draws come out and try to play the same way.”

Play at the AEGON International is scheduled to start at 11am on Friday with Bartoli facing Tamira Paszek in the first match on Centre Court after the Austrian beat Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-0, 6-4 in their quarterfinal.

The pair has only played once before, in 2007, Bartoli triumphing in straight sets.

In the bottom half of the draw, Klara Zakopalova ended Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova’s hope of reaching the semifinals, taking their match 6-3, 7-5.

She will play Angelique Kerber, second on Centre Court on Friday, after the German defeated Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.

Great British duo Laura Robson and Heather Watson put up an impressive battle against world No.1 pairing Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, losing two tight sets 6-4, 7-6 (3).

“We’re pleased with how we played,” said Watson following the match. “We didn’t go into it thinking: ‘oh, they’re the No.1 team in the world and we’re just going to try and get a few games’.

“We had a few very small chances that we weren’t able to get today, but it’s great because it shows us that we’re right there with them. I think we’re a great doubles team and we work great together.”

Elsewhere at the AEGON International, the LTA Junior Challenge Trophy commenced, with GB’s top junior boys competing against some of the USA’s top juniors.

Liam Broady defeated American Noah Rubin in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, while Great Britain’s Luke Bambridge lost to Spencer Papa 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) with the two nations ending the day one rubber apiece.

Rain forced the rescheduling of the men’s quarterfinals to Friday, with Andy Roddick taking on Fabio Fognini first on Court No.1, followed by Phillipp Kohlschreiber facing Andreas Seppi.

Marinko Matosevic and Steve Darcis will play their quarterfinal first on Court No.2, followed by Ryan Harrison taking on Denis Istomin.

The men’s semifinals are scheduled for Centre Court following the women’s semifinals and not before 2pm.