Local favourite Watson stuns Cibulkova

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Britain’s Heather Watson secured a big upset victory over defending champion Dominika Cibulkova at the Aegon International on Monday.

The No.126-ranked wildcard broke serve four times on the way to a surprising 7-5, 6-4 result.

Cibulkova did her level best at the death to avoid defeat, saving three match points, but the fourth time proved to be the charm for Watson.

“I’m so grateful for everyone who came out and supported today,” she said after the match. “The atmosphere was incredible and I was getting goosebumps at the end there.

“It’s no secret that I got a little nervous, but I’m very pleased that I got through it in that last game.”

It's only the second time in her career that Watson has beaten a top-10 player.

“Obviously Dominika is an amazing player, and she won this tournament last year,” Watson said. “She’s just a hard worker and a fighter, so I knew it was never going to be easy. And it definitely wasn’t. But I thought I played really well today. I really got the serve going. “

Watson moves on to the third round where she will face 14th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Also reaching round three on Monday was third Karolina Pliskova, a break in each set proving enough to undo Alison Riske 6-4, 6-3.

Pliskova's twin sister Kristyna advanced to the second round after defeating wildcard Naomi Broady, setting up a clash with top seed Angelique Kerber.

Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko was another winner, recovering from a second-set blow-out to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 0-6, 6-4.

Other winners on the day included Chinese trio Peng Shuai, Duan Yingying and Zhang Shuai, as well as Japan's Naomi Osaka.

There was another early exit for Eugenie Bouchard, however, as she went down 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to Barbora Strycova.

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