BIRMINGHAM, England – Carla Suárez Navarro snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on another rain-interrupted afternoon at the Aegon Classic Birmingham.
Watch live action from Birmingham and Mallorca this week on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!
Trailing 5-3 in the final set, Suárez Navarro’s three-day wait to complete her first-round match looked like it would end in disappointment. However, with the rainclouds gathering overhead once more she produced a rousing finale to triumph, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5.
Originally scheduled for Monday, the players did not make it on court until Tuesday, splitting the opening two sets before the last of the day’s showers brought play to a halt with the Spaniard leading 2-1 in the decider.
A sluggish start on Wednesday, though, saw Svitolina take the first three games to build a seemingly insurmountable lead. As Suárez Navarro struggled to find her rhythm – and footing – Svitolina stretched this advantage, coming within two points of victory when serving for the match only to be denied by her opponent’s late show.
In two of the other matches carried over from the previous day, British wildcards Naomi Broady and Tara Moore suffered close losses. Tamira Paszek broke in the penultimate game to end Moore’s spirited effort, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, while Daria Gavrilova eventually defused Broady, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Over on Centre Court, No.4 seed Belinda Bencic’s tournament came to an unfortunate end as a thigh injury forced her to retire from her match with Irina-Camelia Begu. Bencic required treatment after a tumble in the first set and despite bravely battling on eventually admitted defeat trailing 6-4, 4-3.
“I slipped during the first set and injured my thigh. I tried to play on but unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the match,” Bencic said. “It’s not ideal but being healthy in the long term is the top priority so I had to do the sensible thing.”