Kvitova eases into 3rd round at Eastbourne

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko returns the ball to Estonia's Kaia Kanepi on day two of the Nature Valley International at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, south England, Tuesday June 26, 2018. (Steven Paston/PA via AP)

EASTBOURNE, England (AP) Petra Kvitova continued to impress with a straight-sets victory over Kateryna Bondarenko in the second round at the Eastbourne International on Tuesday.

The third-seeded Kvitova, who won her fifth title of the season on Sunday in Birmingham, triumphed 7-5, 6-3 and looks in impervious form ahead of her bid to win a third Wimbledon.

Kvitova’s career looked seriously in doubt 18 months ago after a knife attack at her home which led to surgery on her left playing hand.

”I’m pretty happy with my win today,” Kvitova said. ”Obviously, I’m a little bit tired, but I got a hit this morning before the match, a warmup.

”The whole tournament (in Birmingham) was more relaxed for me from my side. It was great that I hopefully will save some energy for the next weeks. I felt good with the body, so that’s important.”

In a tight first set, Kvitova secured the first break but Bondarenko broke back when the Czech player was serving for the set.

However, Kvitova broke straight back and held her serve to love, clinching the first set with a delightful serve and volley.

Bondarenko went 3-1 up with a break in the second as Kivitova double-faulted. But that was to be the last game the Ukrainian won. Kvitova sealed the match with another break when her opponent hit a forehand into the net.

Up next for Kvitova is Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated 15th-seeded Daria Gavrilova 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-0.

British No. 1 Johanna Konta will face top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in the third round after easing past Aleksandra Krunic 6-1, 6-3.

The 13th-seeded Konta stuttered at times and perhaps benefited from Krunic injuring herself while sliding into the net mid-rally toward the end of the first set.

The Serbian player had treatment on court and played the second set with strapping on her left leg.

Konta has not dropped a set against Wozniacki in their two previous meetings – the 2017 Australian Open and the final of last year’s Miami Open.

”I’m looking forward to that,” Konta said about her upcoming match against the Australian Open champion. ”I haven’t played her in quite some time and she’s obviously a Grand Slam champion this year, playing some great tennis, so I’ll look forward to that battle.”

Earlier, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus upset sixth-seeded Julia Goerges 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, while Danielle Collins of the United States beat 16th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-2, 6-4.

Collins will next face Angelique Kerber after the German comfortably defeated Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-3.

Fifth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Estonia looked back to some of her best tennis as she dismissed Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 7-5.

It was Ostapenko’s first match since losing in the first round of her French Open title defense.

Other seeded players to make it to the third round were: Daria Kasatkina, Elise Mertens, Barbora Strycova, Anastasija Sevastova and Ashleigh Barty.

In the men’s draw, fifth-seeded Leonardo Mayer beat Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round.

Mayer took the first set when he broke Simon for the second time after a lengthy final game which saw the Frenchman save four set points.

The second set was even tighter before the Argentine, who served up seven aces, eventually prevailed.

Seventh-seeded Steve Johnson is also safely through to the second round after easing past Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 6-4.