Halep set to resume fight for survival in Eastbourne

Simona Halep will try to dig herself out of a one-set deficit when her rain-delayed third-round clash with Tsvetana Pironkova at the Eastbourne International gets back under way.

The weather continued to play havoc with proceedings at the Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday, leading to several postponed matches.

Top seeds Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep both got their campaigns under way with second-round victories in the morning, but Halep returned in the afternoon for a third-round clash with Pironkova, and found herself in trouble before the rain returned and brought an early end to proceedings.

Though Halep was able to recover from an early loss of serve, saving five set points at 4-5 before going on to break and get back on level terms, Pironkova was able to shake off her disappointment and clinch the first set in a tie-break.

And the Bulgarian was a break up in the second, leading 2-1, when the heavens opened and forced the players off the court.

With her 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Duan Yingying earlier in the morning already a distant memory, Halep will now have to dig deep on Thursday if she's to keep her Eastbourne hopes alive.

Kerber, meanwhile, also had to battle back from a set down to defeat Kristyna Pliskova 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in her early-morning clash.

"It feels good, always the first rounds are tough," the World No 1 said. "I think it was a good match from both of us. She was serving very well and I was focusing on my return. At the end of the match I was focusing point-by-point and go for it if I had the chance, and I'm happy I'm through."

Her third-round match with Lara Arruabarrena was due to get under way later in the day, although the weather had other ideas.

Others to advance on Wednesday included Caroline Wozniacki, local hope Johanna Konta, Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic and Russian duo Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Vesnina.

Wednesday's women's results at the rain-delayed Eastbourne event:

Round 2
6-Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) beat Naomi Osaka (Japan) 6-2 7-6(5)                
Peng Shuai (China) beat 15-Timea Bacsinszky (Switzerland) 7-6(7) 2-6 6-4          
5-Johanna Konta (Britain) beat Sorana Cirstea (Romania) 6-2 6-2                   
Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic) beat 11-Garbine Muguruza Blanco (Spain) 6-1 6-0 
9-Kristina Mladenovic (France) beat Zhang Shuai (China) 6-0 6-4                   
1-Angelique Kerber (Germany) beat Kristyna Pliskova (Czech Republic) 4-6 6-1 7-5  
12-Elena Vesnina (Russia) beat Veronica Cepede Royg (Paraguay) 6-3 6-3            
7-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) beat Mona Barthel (Germany) 4-6 7-5 6-2            
2-Simona Halep (Romania) beat Duan Yingying (China) 3-6 6-3 6-2                   
Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria) beat Monica Niculescu (Romania) 6-0 6-4  

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