Ana Ivanovic justified her top seeding in the Edgbaston WTA event in Birmingham on Tuesday with a convincing straight sets second-round win.
The Serb saw off Mona Barthel 6-1, 6-4, while seventh seed Daniela Hantuchova beat Belinda Bencic 6-1, 6-4 in the long-established grass-court warm-up event for Wimbledon.
However, there was disappointment for the home crowd when new British No. 1 Heather Watson spurned three match points on the way to a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 defeat by Canadian qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak after a first-round match lasting 2 hours, 12 minutes.
Watson, who rose above British rival Laura Robson to 69th in the world rankings after reaching the second round of the French Open, led 5-3 in the second set and served for the match, only for her lower-ranked opponent to force her way back into the match.
However, there was a home victory at Edgbaston on Tuesday, with 23-year-old Johanna Konta defeating Japanese 14th seed Kurumi Nara, who is ranked 71 places higher than the Briton, 6-3, 6-1.
Meanwhile, 12th-seed Monica Puig was made to work hard for a 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-2 win over Stefanie Voegele.
Hungary’s Timea Babos was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Marina Erakovic of New Zealand, while Petra Cetkovska beat Alexandra Cadantu by the same score.
Casey Dellacqua, the 16th seed proved too strong for Urszula Radwanska, winning 6-1, 6-3, while the US’ Christina McHale beat Anna Schmiedlova 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
Lauren Davis also progressed, with the 20-year-old beating fellow American Victoria Duval 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
In the first round of the women’s doubles yesterday, Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan took 1 hour, 40 minutes to defeat Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 7-5, 4-6, 10-7.
Additional reporting by staff writer