AEGON International: James Ward and Johanna Konta out but Elena Baltacha through

Last Updated: 19/06/13 6:55am

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British duo James Ward and Johanna Konta both suffered first-round defeats but Elena Baltacha went through at the AEGON International in Eastbourne.

There was much better news for Elena Baltacha, who continued her fine form on grass with a 7-5 7-6 (7-3) victory over qualifier Kristyna Pliskova.

Former British number one Baltacha has dropped down the rankings after taking eight months out to have ankle surgery following the Olympics, but won her first trophy of the year last week in Nottingham.

The 29-year-old loves grass and proved the stronger at the end of both sets, recovering from having her serve broken when she served for the match to win the second-set tie-break.

However, earlier Ward had taken on world No 64 Bernard Tomic but the Australian, who had won only one of his previous six matches and lost in the first round at Queen's Club last week, was too strong in a 6-3 6-4 victory.


British No 3 Konta is at a career-high ranking of 137 and has been playing well on the grass and Eastbourne has been home since her family moved to Britain from Australia eight years ago.

She also found world No 44 Hsieh Su-wei a little too tough despite fighting back from 4-2 down in the first set.

Konta lost it eventually and wasted an early break in the second to go down 6-4 6-3.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki was watched by boyfriend Rory McIlroy, who headed straight to Eastbourne from the US Open golf in Philadelphia, to see the Danish fifth seed manage only her second win in eight matches.

Defending champion Tamira Paszek was forced to quit with a leg injury trailing 6-2 2-2.

China's Li Na began her grass season with just six remaining and she defeated Alize Cornet 6-2 6-4 to reach the next round.

Third seed Angelique Kerber also went through to round two, the German beating Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-4 6-4 while 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova stopped Monica Niculescu 6-4 6-1.

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