Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki – seeds number two, one and three respectively – went out in the first round of the AEGON International in Eastbourne.
Last year Kvitova was runner-up at the grasscourt tournament and she went on to win Wimbledon. This year, however, the Czech opened her grass season with a loss to fellow lefty Ekaterina Makarova 7-5 6-4, whom she defeated to reach the quarterfinals in 2011. Makarova, the 2010 Eastbourne champion and the semifinalist last week in Birmingham, scored her first Top 5 win.
Agnieszka Radwanska, top seed and champion at Eastbourne in 2008, fell in the first round to Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2 6-4, Wimbledon 2011 quarterfinalist and Wimbledon 2010 semifinalist, while third seed Caroline Wozniacki lost to Christina McHale 6-1 6-7(7) 6-4.
However, defending champion and fourth seed Marion Bartoli advanced to the second round with a 6-2 6-2 win over Sorana Cirstea. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)
Ok, it’s getting really strange, especially that on the men side the 1st seeded Gasquet also lost in the first round 😉
But I have to say that with each passing tournament I am more and more disappointed with Radwanska, especially after a great end of the last season and the beginning of this one.
I am also a little bit lost as to what to think about Kvitova. She has some great moments (last year Wimbledon, WTA Championships, this year RG was pretty good too) and some terrible weeks (pretty much the most of this season). OK, I already get used to the idea that women’s tennis is unpredictable but this is getting ridiculous!
I was at Eastbourne yesterday and had the fortune of watching some of the matches. I still think Kvitova will be a big threat at Wimbledon although she was irratic and particularly poor off the return yesterday. Makarova quietly and efficiently went about her business and she will be a very dangerous floater at Wimbledon being unseeded!
Wozniacki was poor at the beginning of her match and looks to be stuck in between defence/attack and finding that right balance. She definitely picked up her game in the second set although I think McHale won some new fans with a really gutsy performance.
She played 4 blinding points to save 4 set points in the second set tiebreak before eventually succumbing following an unfortunate slip, but she really took the game to Wozniacki in the third set. It was quite dull during the second set but both really picked up their game towards the end and it was a good match.
Radwanska was the most worrying of the three losses. She sounded very negative in her post match conference and I only saw a few points of the match, but her balls had little pace and she was undone by the Pironkova forehand slice as many are on the grass.
More details of my day and photos too are on my blog for those interested.