Anne Flies The Flag

Anne Keothavong dodged the raindrops to score a popular win at the AEGON Classic.

Published June 09, 2010 12:00

Anne Flies The Flag
Anne Keothavong

BIRMINGHAM, UK - The AEGON Classic was again hit by inclement weather on Wednesday, though the rainclouds didn't open in time to save five of the seeds in action.

Highest to fall was recent French Open quarterfinalist and sixth seed Yaroslava Shvedova, who was beaten in straight sets in her second round opener by qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva, 64 64.

No.8 seed Andrea Petkovic was beaten by the same scoreline by 114th-ranked Anna Chakvetadze, a result that gave the Russian her first back-to-back main draw wins since Pattaya City in February.

Defending champion Magdalena Rybarikova narrowly averted disaster against Ekaterina Makarova, relinquishing a 75 41 lead before eventually edging the Russian in a third set tie-break, 75 46 76(5).

Other second round winners included No.5 seed Sara Errani, who beat Shenay Perry in three sets; No.13 seed Angelique Kerber, who defeated Ayumi Morita; and Alla Kudryavtseva, who breezed past No.16 seed Vania King, 61 62.

Four first round matches were also completed, two of them having started on Tuesday. British No.1 Elena Baltacha's campaign came to a disappointing end; seeded No.12, she was forced to retire due to illness having lost the first set to qualifier Kaia Kanepi.

"I was praying for another day of rain," said Baltacha, who acquired heatstroke during her run to the ITF title at Nottingham last week. "The warm-up was okay, but at 2-1 I started to feel terrible. Kaia has been winning matches in qualifying and so it was always going to be a big ask. I think I just need a couple more days to get back to normal."

Later, former British No.1 Anne Keothavong kept the home fires burning with a fighting 46 75 75 win over Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier.

"Since Nottingham I haven't been able to practice as much as I'd have liked, dealing with a few niggles," said Keothavong, who earned a second round encounter with top seed Li Na. "But sometimes you just have to find a way when you're not playing ideal tennis. A win is a win."

Elsewhere, Jill Craybas saved a clutch of match points before edging Australian lucky loser Sophie Ferguson in a third set tie-break; likewise Karolina Sprem went down to the wire against No.15 seed Kristina Barrois, the Croat prevailing, 57 76(5) 76(4).

Playing her first tournament since February, Sania Mirza won the first set of her match against Tamarine Tanasugarn; fourth seed Aravane Rezai played just two games against Anastasia Rodionova before being forced inside to do crosswords; while the much-anticipated match between third seed Yanina Wickmayer and wildcard Laura Robson didn't even take to the court.

Two-time champion and No.2 seed Maria Sharapova was also thwarted; she was leading Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first set when play was suspended.

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