AEGON Tennis: British duo set for action on start studded Monday

Heather Watson
Heather Watson

A star-studded line-up takes to the courts at the Aegon International on Monday with three former champions, two Grand Slam champions, a former world No.1 and three British players in action.

British wildcard Tara Moore opens proceedings on Centre Court, taking on 2010 champion Ekaterina Makarova, with play scheduled to start at 11am.

British No.2 Heather Watson takes on 2013 champion Elena Vesnina in the second match on Centre, followed by Petra Kvitova against Timea Babos. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova is cautiously optimistic about her fifth appearance in Eastbourne. “It’s the wind…you never know the conditions. But I’m looking forward (to) Eastbourne is a beautiful city and beautiful venue. I hope that the few days of the practices on the grass will be helpful as well.”

Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki rounds out the singles action on Centre Court on Monday, playing 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur. The Eastbourne champion in 2009, Wozniacki enjoyed a comprehensive win over Alize Cornet 6-1 6-3 saying she was happy with the way her form was developing on Devonshire Park’s grass courts.

“I’m so happy to be here, it’s a place where I always feel good, I enjoy playing on the grass, and I found my footing out there and did a lot of things well,” said Wozniacki. “I had a really good two-hour practice with Aga (Radwanska) yesterday. That made me feel good and I feel like ok, now I know what I need to do, sometimes it just clicks.

“It was nice to get here and you know that the weather is usually better than anywhere else in the UK, so it is a great place to be and I love being here, and it was nice to get on centre court and play in front of a nice crowd.”

Stosur said she’s looking forward to trying to even the score with Wozniacki, against whom she holds a 1-2 head-to-head record at Eastbourne. “We’ve had some good matches against each other here and I’ve had a couple of good runs at Eastbourne where I’ve reached the semifinals,” said Stosur, who reached the semifinals at the French Open in June. “I’m looking forward to getting my feet on the grass.”

Monday’s line-up also sees 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard faces qualifier Varvara Lepchenko in the second match on court No.1 and British wildcard Naomi Broady takes on qualifier Monica Puig in the fourth match on Court 1.

The International Junior Competition kicks off on Monday with some of the world’s best U18 girls from Great Britain, USA, France and Australia battling it out in a challenge between the four Grand Slam nations.

The competition incorporates the Maureen Connolly trophy, which has been contested annually between Great Britain and USA since 1973. The competition is a fantastic opportunity for tennis fans to watch the rising stars of world tennis battling it out on the outside courts at Devonshire Park.