Mel South bowed out in the opening round of the main draw at the International Women’s Open in Eastbourne on Tuesday. The British No 3 lost against the talented 18 year-old, Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, 4-6 4-6 in 1 hour 20 minutes.
Playing on Devonshire Park’s Centre Court, South looked at ease with the surroundings as she fought all the way against an opponent ranked 92 places above her on the world ladder. However, Kleybanova served particularly well notching 11 aces and winning 77 per cent of first service points.
Last week, South reached the quarter-final at the DFS Classic in Edgbaston, a WTA Tour Tier III event, which helped her achieve a career high ranking of No 139. The 22 year-old has also been awarded a wildcard into the main draw at The Championships, Wimbledon which get under way on Monday.
Speaking post-match, South said: “Alisa played very well and I was always under pressure. After last week’s performance in Edgbaston, I feel like I can compete at this level but I just need to gain more consistency in my game. I’ll take a lot of confidence with me to Wimbledon though where I’ll look to be aggressive on court and really go for it.