EASTBOURNE: Ons Jabeur of Tunisia picked up her first grass-court win of this season after defeating Italy's Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round of the Eastbourne International, here on Tuesday.
Jabeur picked up her second win in two meetings with 42nd-ranked Paolini, and she moved into the Eastbourne second round for the third time in her career.
The Tunisian started her 2023 grass season last week in Berlin, where she suffered an opening-round loss to Jule Niemeier as the defending champion.
Last year's Wimbledon finalist Jabeur is seeking her third career grass-court singles title. Her first WTA singles title came on grass, at 2021 Birmingham, and she added a second grass-court title to her resume last year in Berlin.
Last week's Birmingham champion Jelena Ostapenko is a possible quarterfinal opponent for Jabeur. Latvia's Ostapenko kept her winning streak going with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Czech lucky loser Barbora Strycova in the Eastbourne first round.
In other action, No.8 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil was also a first-round victor on Tuesday, squeaking past last year's Wimbledon quarterfinalist Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Haddad Maia, who won her first two WTA singles titles last year on the grass courts of Nottingham and Birmingham, collected her first grass-court win of the 2023 season on Tuesday. IANS