Aegon Classic 2015: Katie Swan fails to take off on her tour debut

Swan, aged 16, can take encouragement from her performance against a former Wimbledon semi-finalist

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The Independent Online

Katie Swan’s first appearance on the main tour ended in defeat but two other Britons enjoyed fine wins on the first day of the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston.

Jo Konta, the world No 139, beat Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova, the world No 60, while Naomi Broady, the world No 208, knocked out Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, ranked 81.

Swan, aged 16, was beaten 6-2, 6-2 by the experienced Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, but could take encouragement from her performance against the former Wimbledon semi-finalist. The key to the outcome was Pironkova’s ability to punish Swan’s second serve.

Konta, who reached the quarter-finals of the Aegon Open in Nottingham last week, needed less than an hour to beat Gajdosova 6-1, 6-3 and earn a second-round meeting with the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova, the world No 12.

“I went out there knowing that I need to be very focused,” Konta said. “She’s a great player and she has a great weight of shot.”

Broady, who lost in the semi-finals in Surbiton last week, beat Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-4 to record her first victory over a top 100 opponent since she beat Timea Babos at Wimbledon last year. In the second round Broady will play the world No 3, Romania’s Simona Halep, who had a first-round bye. “I’ve got no pressure on me whatsoever,” Broady said. “If I serve well, who knows what’s going to happen?”

Croatia’s Ana Konjuh claimed her first tour title when she won yesterday’s rain-delayed Aegon Open final in Nottingham. Konjuh, aged 17, dropped her only set of the tournament before beating Romania’s Monica Niculescu 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.