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Tennis | ATP

Kevin Anderson © Action Images

Anderson stumbles at first hurdle



Kevin Anderson was dumped out of the Aegon International at Eastbourne on Tuesday, losing his first-round match to Julien Benneteau 7-6, 6-2.

Anderson had withdrawn from the Aegon Championships at Queen's last week in order to give his troublesome right shoulder additional time to heal, but will now be well short of match practice before Wimbledon begins on Monday.

The South African, seeded fifth at Eastbourne, was unlucky to draw the top-ranked unseeded player in the draw, and the Frenchman was always going to be a tough opponent first up.

Australian Bernard Tomic shook off last week's hamstring concern to post a 6-3, 6-4 first-round win over Briton James Ward.

The victory came one week after Tomic lost in the opening round at Queen's Club to German Benjamin Becker while nursing his injury.

That's all past history now for the 64th-ranked Tomic. "This was an important win, it's a big relief to get this one," he said. "I've been happy with my tennis in training over the last three or four days.

"The hamstring is 100 per cent now, If I can get some more wins like this on grass, it will really help my confidence. I think I have a chance to do well again."

Tomic's controversial father John is on site at the English south coast event. The problem parent faces a court date in Madrid in the autumn over his alleged attack of his son's former hitting partner last month in a fit of temper.

Tomic said he's put that incident behind as well. "I don't think of it any more, I'm able just to concentrate on my tennis, I just hope my hamstring holds upon, I don't feel it at all now."

Tomic is playing the Wimbledon tuneup for the first time two years after reaching a quarterfinal at the All England club.

The top Australian, who captured his first career title at Sydney in January, finally broke a three-match first-round losing streak dating to Madrid in May.

Spain's Feliciano Lopez, twice a Wimbledon quarterfinalist, beat Finn Jarkko Nieminen 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5). Slovak Martin Klizan beat Victor Troicki 6-3, 6-2, and Ivan Dodig stropped Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-4.

Czech veteran Radek Stepanek schooled Aussie Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-2.

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