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Thursday, 16 June 2016 09:21 AM BST
Vandeweghe posing grass court threat once again rounds up the action from the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. READ MORE

A year ago CoCo Vandeweghe laid down a marker as she reached the last eight at Wimbledon, with her run finally being ended by Maria Sharapova.

Judging by her first-round win over top seed Agnieszka Radwanska at the Aegon Classic Birmingham, the 24-year-old American appears to be on a roll again.

Polish world No.3 Radwanska might have held a 4-0 head-to-head advantage over her rival, all on hard courts, but Vandeweghe on grass is a different proposition.

Last week she won ‘s-Hertogenbosch and her form continues to prosper - beating Wimbledon 2012 finalist Radwanska 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in a rain-interrupted match was extremely impressive.

Vandeweghe has had to come to terms with the fact that she failed to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games, admitting she was “heartbroken” to miss out and not follow in the footsteps of her mother, Tauna, a swimming Olympian in 1976.

Now her focus is on the grass court season and Eastbourne beckons next week in the build-up to Wimbledon.

She said: “I'm feeling good. I think grass and hard courts definitely accentuates what I do well. I think it cause a big problem of what I do well. My pace, my power, my placement, my serve. I return pretty decently. Causes more havoc for players on grass and hard court than the other surface of clay.”

Radwanksa, a wild card in Birmingham, is also heading to the south coast after her unscheduled exit.

She said: “I didn’t play bad today. Maybe I didn’t feel that grass that well yet. She just continued playing from last week. It was really tough. She has a huge serve. Maybe against someone not that powerful it would be a different story.

“She was really consistent and solid. No free points from her. You can really see how she won the tournament last week.”

Tara Moore’s up-and-down day at the Aegon Classic Birmingham began with the news of a Wimbledon wild card and finished with a narrow first-round defeat by useful Austrian Tamira Paszek.

The British No.4, who has been rewarded for her performances in the first two grass court tournaments of the season, was unable to add to her tally of eight victories against higher-ranked players in recent weeks.

Qualifier Paszek, world No.119 and the 2005 girl’s singles champion at Wimbledon, edged their meeting at the Edgbaston Priory Club, winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a rain-interrupted match.

I just really want to prove I'm able to be at that level

- Tara Moore on her Wimbledon wild card

Moore, 23, who has leaped to 230, was quick to acknowledge her wild card as she also took the positives out of her Birmingham exit.

“I'm very grateful to the All England Club for awarding me one and to the LTA for putting me up as a suggestion,” Moore said.

“I think it's great that I have another opportunity to show how I've been playing this season. I do think I've played well enough to deserve one.”

Moore, who reached the final of the ITF tournament in Eastbourne and made the last eight at Nottingham’s Aegon Open, has twice received wild cards from Wimbledon, losing in the first round each time.

She added: “Hopefully it won't just be a first round for me. That's really important to me. I just really want to prove to everyone that I'm able to be at that level.”

While Moore was losing on court three, fellow Brit Naomi Broady was going the same way on court one. The match against Australia’s Daria Gavrilova took two hours and nine minutes but was spread over three days, making it the longest of the Birmingham wild card’s career.

Broady, world No.81, struggled to manoeuvre her 6ft 2ins frame on the slick surface. They resumed with the Briton leading 6-4, 2-4, and Gavrilova duly served out to make it 2-5.

In the blink of an eye the  22-year-old Australian was on level terms after a tame forehand into the net at break point from Broady. 

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The decider started badly for Broady. She was broken in the second game and, having broken back in the seventh game, promptly failed to hang on to her serve, thus gifting Gavrilova the win.

“I seem to have a tendency to lose here in three sets. It happens quite often,” Broady said. “Last time I went on to win my round at Wimbledon, so hopefully that's my good omen. That's the positive energy I'm going to take from the day.

“The court is generally dry, but especially around the edges and closer to the net, it's pretty wet.

“I'm not the most agile of players anyway, so when it gets a bit wet, just really struggled with moving today. I lost trust in moving.”

A slip on the grass forced  Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic to retire with an injury to her right thigh.

Irina-Camelia Begu, who was leading 6-4, 4-3 when fourth seed Bencic hurt herself, plays Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.

Bencic said: “I slipped during the first set and injured my thigh. I tried to play on but unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the match.

It’s not ideal but being healthy in the long term is the top priority so I had to do the sensible thing.”