EASTBOURNE, England -- Fifth-seeded Nicole Vaidisova fought
off a strong challenge from Australian Samantha Stosur 3-6, 6-4,
6-4 to reach the second round of the Eastbourne International on
In the only other first-round matches, Lucie Safarova of the
Czech Republic edged Anna-Lena Groenefeld 7-6 (0), 7-6 (5), leaving
the German with only four wins this year.
Alicia Molik, who has struggled to return from a
career-threatening inner-ear infection, surrendered a match point
as she lost 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) to the 204th-ranked wild card Melanie
Vaidisova and Stosur struggled to find any rhythm, and after an
exchange of breaks at 2-2, Stosur took the next three games to win
the first set.
Stosur failed to maintain her momentum in the second set. She
had two double faults as the Czech broke at love to lead 1-0.
Stosur got it to 2-2, but Vaidisova took the set by breaking to
lead 5-4 and giving up just one point in the last three games of
In the final set, Vaidisova failed to convert five break points
in a nine-deuce game at 1-1, but then broke to lead 3-2 when Stosur
mishit a forehand.
"She came out hitting well and for me it was the first match on
grass and getting used to it again," said Vaidisova, a French Open
quarterfinalist. "It was a little fight but I got through it and
that's what counts, and I'm ready for my next match."
Groenefeld, who hit 15 double faults and has lost her past five
first-round matches, broke to lead 5-4 in the opening set but then
had three double faults as Safarova got it to 5-5. Games went with
serve in the second set as Groenefeld held off a break point at
0-1, before the Czech again claimed the tiebreaker.