Watson launches grass court season with victory

BRITISH No2 Heather Watson made a storming start to the Aegon International at Eastbourne with a straight sets victory over world No27 Varvara Lepchenko.

The 21-year-old recovered from dropping serve early in the first set to progress 6-3, 6-4.

The world No57 will play Elena Vesnina in round two, after the Russian upset No7 seed and former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

With the Wimbledon championships under a week away three British players moved a step closer to a place in the men’s singles draw with victories in the first round of qualifying.

British No5 Alex Bogdanovic beat Marek Semjan in straight sets, Jamie Baker, ranked 304 in the world, saw off Italy’s Matteo Vlola and British No14 David Rice swept past Sebastian Rieschick 6-3, 6-2.

British No3 Dan Evans lost at Roehampton however, as did Josh Goodall, Edward Corrie, Lewis Burton and Joshua Ward Hibbert.