Elina made a successful start to her grass season swing at the Premier-level tournament in Birmingham. In a tight three-setter that lasted 2 hours and 9 minutes the second seed defeated Brit Heather Watson: 6-2 5-7 6-3 to level the head-to-head record (2-2). Elina finished the match with four aces, 26 winners and four breaks. 

"Watson plays very well on grass, so I'm glad I could win this third set", Elina admitted right after the match. "I'm sure that she will be in a great shape for Wimbledon. As for my tennis today, the serve worked very well. My goal was to not let Heather come back completely in the deciding set, and I'm happy I did it"

In the second round Elina will face either Natalia Vihlyantseva or Camila Giorgi.
photo: Chrystopher Levy