Riske knocks out top seed Paszek in AEGON Trophy Round 1
Number one seed Tamira Paszek (AUT) has crashed out in the first round of the AEGON Trophy in Nottingham.
The Austrian, who is ranked 52 in the world, was the commanding favourite going into the match against America’s Alison Riske.
But the unseeded player was more than a match for her counterpart, winning 7-5, 6-4 in a contest that was close throughout.
Despite knocking out the top seed Riske isn’t getting carried away, although she’s eager to find out her second-round opponent.
“It’s a great result for me, I’m really pleased,” she said. “It was good to get back on the grass and get a win under my belt as I’ve not had the best run results wise leading into the tournament.
“I went out there and tried to be aggressive, dominate the points and I think I did that quite well.
“Of course beating the number one seed is a great achievement but there are so many good players here I’m definitely not getting carried away.”
“Whether I play Valeria Savinykh or Kai-Chen Chang in the next round both will be tough to beat so I will have to step up my game again.”
Following a weekend of torrential rain, players from the men’s and women’s event were finishing off their qualifying matches a day later than planned.
Flying the flag for Great Britain in the women’s singles was 23-year-old Anna Fitzpatrick. The Sheffield player had come through two tough matches the previous day, one against her doubles partner, but this time faced Kristyna Pliskova from the Czech Republic who had been in good form coming into the tournament.
Pliskova proved too much for the Brit who fell agonisingly short of booking her spot in the main draw, going down 6-4, 6-3.
“I’m just really frustrated after yesterday went so well,” she said. “Yesterday’s matches were both very close and I did feel a bit tired today.
“I never really settled into the match and felt some parts of my game let me down. My serve wasn’t going how I would have liked and I was caught in two minds whether to serve big or go for accuracy, in the end I did neither.
“Credit must go to Kristyna because she put me under a lot of pressure and made life difficult for me.”
In the men’s competition there was disappointment for the British trio of Joshua Milton, Sean Thornley and Dan Evans, who also failed to make the main draw, losing out in close three-set matches.
Thornley and Evans looked destined to take their place in the final round of qualifying as they both took comfortable first set leads.
However, an enforced rain break stopped the momentum and their opponents took full advantage with Evans eventually losing 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Russia’s Denis Matsukevitch and Thornley going down 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 to Marcus Daniell from New Zealand.
Milton almost came back from a set down to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert but couldn’t stay with the Frenchman in the final set, losing 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
There was success for young starlets Laura Robson and Heather Watson who returned from their French Open experience to book their spot in the second round of the doubles, beating Monique Adamczak (AUS) and Erika Sema (JPN) in straight sets.
Robson said: “It was nice to get back on court with Heather; we haven’t played together since the Fed Cup but are pleased with our performance.
It’s great to get off to a winning start before we compete in the singles tomorrow. Grass is definitely my favourite service; I think it suits my style of play and being left handed is a plus.
Tara Moore and Melanie South were the other British pair through to the next round as they beat fellow countryman Anne Keothavong and America’s Abigail Spears 6-3, 6-2.
Keothavong will be hoping for a quick return to winning ways when the number eight seed competes in the singles tomorrow.