Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko is on the march at Rothesay International Eastbourne. The eighth-seeded Latvian cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday to open her 2022 campaign at the WTA 500 event, her sixth consecutive victory in the British coastal city.

“She’s a good player and I knew it was going to be a tough battle. At times I didn’t feel comfortable, but then I managed to win the game. It’s great to be back … and I’m happy to be back here, ”said Ostapenko in victory.

Seeking revenge on grass against Tomljanovic, her Wimbledon winner 12 months ago, Ostapenko has crumbled in every set. She came from 4-2 behind in the first set to win it, and also lost her serve to open the second set.

“I was just trying not to miss any balls and put more balls in play, but also to stay aggressive,” added the defending champion. “I felt like at times, balls that I shouldn’t miss, I missed. I’m just glad I managed to win.”

Kvitova beats Vekic for the first grass court win of the season

Since reaching the quarter-finals in Miami in March, Petra Kvitova has battled for victories: the two-time Wimbledon champion came to Eastbourne 1-5 in her last six events, including a defeat at the first round against Beatriz Haddad Maia in Birmingham last week. , a place where she won the title twice. A Haddad Maia streak left Birmingham with the title, while Kvitova needed an extra week to secure her first grass-court win of 2022: the XX-seeded Czech beat former Top 20 player Donna Vekic, 6-1, 7-6 (x), do that.

Kvitova’s 1 hour and 12 minute win was the first match between the two on natural surface ever; she had won two of their previous three matches, all of which were on hard courts. After Kvitova dominated the first set, breaking Vekic’s serve twice, neither woman faced a break point in the second set; Kvitova caught lightning in a bottle in the tiebreaker, however, and won the first three points and the last four.

Keys, 2014 champion, defeats Davis in the first American game

Madison Keys is the third former champion competing at Eastbourne this week alongside Ostapenko and Karolina Pliskova, and she will face Ostapenko in Round 3. Seeded No. 11 this week, Keys won 6-4, 6-3 against Lauren Davis in her first grass court game of the season.

Kostyuk and Boulter lead series of seeded upsets at Eastbourne

Keys last played at Roland Garros, where she reached the fourth round in singles and the semifinals in doubles with compatriot Taylor Townsend. Keys won his first career WTA singles title at Eastbourne eight years ago and is playing here for the first time since his title defense ended in the second round next year.