Camila Giorgi shocks former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Eastbourne, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Rising star Camila Giorgi ousted former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, Tuesday in the first round of the Aegon International, the final grass-court tune-up event before the Wimbledon.

The fourth seed Azarenka, a runner-up here in 2010, was rusty in her first match after being sidelined for three months with a foot injury.

Azarenka has slipped to No. 8 in the world rankings, her lowest spot since the spring of 2011.

American Madison Keys recorded another upset as she eliminated third seed and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, 6-3, 6-3.

In other matches, second seeded Petra Kvitova outlasted fellow Czech Lucie Safarova, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4); No. 6 Flavia Pennetta downed Su-Wei Hsieh, 6-3, 6-3; while Lauren Davis ousted No. 7 Sara Errani, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Other winners were Daniela Hantuchova, Johanna Konta, Varvara Lepchenko, Ekaterina Makarova and Heather Watson.

On the men’s side, Julien Benneteau hit eight aces to avenge his loss to Yen-Hsun Lu in the 2012 Eastbourne first round with a 6-2, 6-4 victory and advance against compatriot Gilles Simon.

Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeated qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov, 6-3, 6-4, to seal a date with Jarkko Nieminen, who defeated seventh seed Santiago Giraldo, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 in one hour and 42 minutes.

American Donald Young, making his first appearance since reaching the Roland Garros third round, began his grass-court campaign by defeating British wild card James Ward 6-3, 6-2 in 62 minutes.

Meanwhile, second seed Fernando Verdasco continued his mastery over Paul-Henri Mathieu via a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory at the Topshelf Open.

Verdasco saved 11 of 13 break points and hit 13 aces to extend his perfect record against Mathieu to 6-0. He will next face wild card Jesse Huta Galung.

Defending champion Nicolas Mahut defeated wild card Kimmer Coppejans 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes while Roberto Bautista Agut beat fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 6-1, 6-3 in one hour.

Other winners were Jurgen Melzer, Lukas Lacko, Jan-Lennard Struff, Vasek Pospisil and Mate Pavic.

On the women’s side, defending champion Simona Halep defeated qualifier Olga Govortsova, 7-5, 6-2, in the opening round to seal a showdown with Annika Beck.

Other winners were Yaroslava Shvedova, Vania King, Magdalena Rybarikova, Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro.

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