Heather Watson earns pre-Wimbledon boost with rare victory over top-10 opponent

 
Ross McLean
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Aegon International Eastbourne - Day 2
Watson beat Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4 (Source: Getty)

British No3 Heather Watson secured a pre-Wimbledon boost by recording victory over a top-10 opponent for only the second time in her career at Eastbourne.

Watson, who needed a wildcard to enter the Wimbledon main draw, made light of being ranked 117 places below defending champion Dominika Cibulkova to win 7-5, 6-4. The 25-year-old will now play Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round three.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who won the Aegon Classic in Birmingham on Sunday six months after suffering a career-threatening hand injury in December, pulled out of Eastbourne with an abdominal injury.

Britain’s Marcus Willis, meanwhile, beat Andrej Martin of Slovakia 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of Wimbledon qualifying yesterday and will now face fellow countryman Liam Broady. He requires three wins to qualify for next week’s main draw.

Willis last year won six matches through qualifying before reaching round two where he lost to former world No1 Roger Federer.

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