Eastbourne: Defending champion Belinda Bencic ousted, Aga Radwanska advances

Eastbourne: Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska took a shortcut into the third round of the WTA Eastbourne grass-court event on Tuesday when Croatian opponent Mirjana Lucic-Baroni retired ill trailing 6-4, 2-1.

But the Pole proved to be an exception to the day's trend as nine other seeds made a mass exit in the second round.

First among that number was holder and third seed Belinda Bencic, with the Swiss teenager who missed the clay season with back pain saving two match points before losing to 2013 champion Elena Vesnina 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5).

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in action during the second round at Eastbourne. Reuters

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in action during the second round at Eastbourne. Reuters

Russia's Ekaterina Makarova, titleholder on the lawns in 2010, put out second-seeded US Open finalist Roberta Vinci 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 while Swiss fourth seed Timea Bacsinszky lost to France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 7-5.

Another to drop in the last week prior to Monday's start of Wimbledon included two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova — the sixth seed went down to Kateryna Bondarenko 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Former tournament winner Caroline Wozniacki beat number seven Samantha Stosur, 6-2, 6-1.

Stosur has never done particularly well on grass, losing in the second round at the last two editions despite reaching semi-finals here.

Japan's Misaki Doi accounted for Spanish eighth seed Carla Suárez Navarro 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

Play was staged at a breakneck pace as officials worked to get the programme of well over 20 singles matches caught up after rain the day before.

Other seeded victims were Italian Sara Errani, Romanian Irina Begu and Czech Lucie Safarova.

Radwanska, the 2008 champion, who played the Wimbledon final in 2012, needed just 47 minutes under the sun at Devonshire Park to advance.

"It was very tough conditions today, the first day that it was really windy," Radwanska said. "And with her powerful game, sometimes it's hard to find a right rhythm from the beginning.

"It was not an easy match for the first round. I'm still happy that I could win that one-and-a-half sets and ready for the next one."

Radwanska moves directly into a showdown with former fellow Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard after the unseeded Canadian booked her spot 6-3, 6-1 over Romanian 15th seed Irina Begu.

"I love the grass and I'm really glad to be back here," said Radwanska, the 2015 losing finalist to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic.

Bouchard is also up for the challenge.

"I've had some (recent) results that I wasn't satisfied with, so coming into this week I really kicked myself in the butt," she said.

"I told myself to go after it and not have any regrets."

Double Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, the number five seed, beat Hungarian Timea Babos 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) while Slovak 12th seed Dominika Cibulkova advanced against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-3, 6-3.


Updated Date: Jun 22, 2016 20:00 PM

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