We don't hear much from Tsvetana Pironkova during the other seasons, but when it's time to play on grass, she can do some impressive things--like take Venus Williams out of Wimbledon two years in a row with exactly the same straight-set scoreline. The Bulgarian player, who has a lovely game, excels on grass courts. Today, in Eastbourne, in the first round, she demonstrated her skills to 2008 Eastbourne champion Agnieszka Radwanska, the tournament's top seed. Pironkova defeated Radwanska 6-2, 6-4. (Perhaps The Radwanska, Aga's darker and potentially very powerful side, is already in London, mysteriously supervising the lawn preparation?)
Radwanska had plenty of company. 2nd seed Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, was upset in the opening round, too. Kvitova went out to Ekaterina Makarova, who won the tournament in 2010. Makarova beat the Czech star 7-5, 6-4. And, for good measure, Christina McHale beat 3rd seed Caroline Wozniacki (also in the first round) 6-1, 6-7, 6-4.
Wild card Heather Watson won (def. qualifier Greta Arn), as did qualifier Laura Robson (def. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez).
Marion Bartoli, seeded 4th, is the highest seed left in the draw. Bartoli's next opponent will be Aleksandra Wozniak.
Meanwhile, at the UNICEF Open, Kim Clijsters advanced to the third round, and Urszula Radwanska upset 4th seed Flavia Pennetta, also in the second round. In the first round, Sofia Arvidsson defeated Birmingham finalist Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
And we thought clay season was crazy......