- POSTED: 19 Jun 2014 03:50
Top seed Richard Gasquet turned 28 with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of Bernard Tomic on Wednesday to make a winning start at the Eastbourne International.
EASTBOURNE, United Kingdom: Top seed Richard Gasquet turned 28 with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of Bernard Tomic on Wednesday to make a winning start at the Eastbourne International.
Gasquet, competing in his third tournament since April after injury, moved into the quarter-finals after an opening bye as he bids for a third career trophy on grass.
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki and second seed Petra Kvitova also advanced in the women's event at Devonshire Park.
Frenchman Gasquet, winner in 2005 and 2006, fired eight aces and saved nine of ten break points to win through in 1hr 45min.
Tomic sent down 16 aces and goes into Wimbledon with confidence after his start to the season was hampered by double hip surgery.
The Australian, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2011, is looking forward to stepping onto the grass at the All England club for a sixth time after what he considers a decent preparation.
"I've had two good weeks, I'm happy with the way it's been going leading up into this. Wimbledon is my favourite tournament, so if I can get a good draw, first, second round will be very important for me."
Tomic knows what is missing in his game after going down to Gasquet, who won his first Eastbourne match after losing in 2012.
"I'm struggling to convert the break points lately," said the 21-year-old ranked 82nd.
"Today I had a lot of break points, but I couldn't finish it on those occasions. I think we played a good match, and this is what you need leading into Wimbledon."
Queen's finalist Feliciano Lopez struggled in the first set against German qualifier Tobias Kamke and needed a dozen break point in the second set before breaking back for 5-all in a 7-6 (12/10), 7-5 opening match lasting two hours.
Two seeds fell in their opening matches as Uzbek Denis Istomin put out number four Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-2, 7-5 and Julien Benneteau beat fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4.
Finn Jarkko Nieminen fell to Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) despite 11 aces.
In the women's event, eighth seed Wozniacki beat American Sloane Stephens for the sixth straight time, winning 6-3, 6-3.
The 2009 champion from Denmark advanced in 66 minutes to next face Camila Giorgi.
The Italian continued her run of form as she dismissed Britain's Johanna Konta 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 a day after taking nearly three hours to upset former world number one Victoria Azarenka.
Czech Kvitova won a 14th consecutive match against a left-hander as she put out Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-4. It was her sixth win without a loss against the American.
German fifth seed Angelique Kerber reached the last eight over Alize Cornet of France 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3).
Britain's Heather Watson will next line up against Kvitova after earning a top 20 scalp with her defeat of Italian sixth seed Flavia Pennetta 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-2
American Lauren Davis beat experienced grass-courter Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-3 as the Slovak played the event for a ninth time dating back a dozen years.
Holder Elena Vesnina lost to Madison Keys 7-5, 7-6 (11/9) as the winner reached a second career grass quarter-final.