• Aegon International

Watson digs deep to beat Lepchenko

ESPN staff
June 17, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Heather Watson claimed her second win since coming back from glandular fever with a 6-3 6-4 win over Varvara Lepchenko at the Aegon International at Eastbourne.

The British No. 2 will face Elena Vesnina in the second round after the Russian dispatched former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 2-6 6-4 6-3.

Watson, who claimed her first win against a top-50 opponent in Eastbourne in 2010, notched up another significant victory against world No. 27 Lepchenko as she looks to put the memories of her time on the sidelines behind her.

Things did not begin well for the 21-year-old in her fourth match since returning to action at the French Open. The world No. 57 dropped serve in the opening game but hit back immediately with a break of her own and broke again to lead 4-2 before serving out the first set.

The second set was a tighter affair, with Lepchenko drawing the very best of Watson's defensive skills, and the Guernsey native was rewarded for her efforts with a vital break in the ninth game before serving out the match in style, clinching victory on her first match point.

Former Eastbourne champion Marion Bartoli beat Italy's Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-2 to set up a possible second round clash with world No. 6 Li Na.

Pennetta claimed the first break of the match to lead 3-2, but her French opponent immediately responded by breaking Pennetta twice and serving out the set before running away with the match.

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