British No2 Johanna Konta stepped up her Wimbledon preparations with a first career victory over a top-10 ranked opponent yesterday when she beat Ekaterina Makarova at Eastbourne.
On a successful day for the nation’s female tennis players, 24-year-old Konta beat Russian world No8 Makarova 6-2, 6-4 to reach the third round of the Aegon International.
Read more: Konta wins first qualifier
The Sydney-born player, who represented Australia before switching allegiance to Britain in 2012, is yet to progress from the first round at Wimbledon in three attempts.
“On paper it looks like my best-ever win,” she said. “I knew she wouldn’t give me any easy points – she is a top 10 player for a reason. I had to play some of my best tennis.”
Konta faces Spanish 14th seed Garbine Muguruza in round three, where she was joined by British No1 Heather Watson, who came from a set down to beat Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Watson faces American Sloane Stephens next.
British 16-year-old Katie Swan sprung a huge surprise when she beat Slovakian Kristina Kucova – ranked 750 places above the wildcard at 118 in the world – in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
The youngster, who is from Bristol but lives in the United States, is due to meet Austrian two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist Tamira Paszek in the second qualifying round.
Britain’s men fared worse, with No2 Aljaz Bedene losing to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino and No4 James Ward falling to American Tim Smyczek in round two of the Aegon Open in Nottingham. Wimbledon starts on Monday.