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April 27, 2017

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Third time unlucky as Radwanska flounders

EASTBOURNE, United Kingdom -- Former champion Agnieszka Radwanska succumbed to a first-round defeat for the third year in succession at the ATP-WTA Eastbourne International on Monday as the top seed was beaten 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4) by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Radwanska, winner here in 2008, failed again to gain traction on the south coast lawns and goes into next week's start of Wimbledon well short of match practice.

German fifth seed Angelique Kerber got off to a winning start on a chilly, dry day at Devonshire Park, where the usual bothersome winds were not in evidence.

The 2012 finalist beat American Alison Riske 7-6 (8/6), 6-4. Elena Vesnina of Russia reached the second round, beating China's Peng Shuai 6-3, 6-4.

Radwanska came to Britain without a title so far this year and fresh from a third-round defeat at Roland Garros.

The Pole had won four of her five previous meetings with the 26th-ranked Pavlyuchenkova.

The Russian spent almost two-and-a-half hours compiling her upset win, firing nine aces and 41 winners while breaking four times from eight chances.

Radwanska took the final set into a tie-break, trailing her Russian opponent 1-3, and 3-5.

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