Li Na and Kerber progress
China's Li Na began her grass season with just six days left before the start of Wimbledon, with the sixth seed beating Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-4 to reach the second round of the Eastbourne International on Tuesday.
But not everything went to plan for the elite, with top seed Agnieszka Radwanska losing to American qualifier Jamie Hampton 7-6 (7/2), 6-2. It was the second straight year that the Pole, 2012 Wimbleodn finalist, had exited in the opening round.
"It was my first match on grass and I was often afraid of slipping," said Radwanska. "She played very well and was too good today."
Unseeded Australian Samantha Stosur also caught a seed on a bad day as she beat No 8 Nadia Petrova 6-2, 6-3.
"It was a good match, I served well," said the winner. "I've been been working on things for a few days. and I've been able to train here every day."
Second seed Li, French Open champion two years ago, moved into a match-up with France's Marion Bartoli, a former titleholder at the grass event on the English south coast.
"For a first grass-court match it was pretty good. I'm looking forward for tomorrow and another tough match," said Li.
No 3 Angelique Kerber beat Sorona Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 while 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova stopped Monica Niculescu 6-4, 6-1.
Fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki, the former WTA No 1, began her grass campaign with a win as she put out holder Tamira Paszek. The Austrian retired trailing 6-2, 2-2 with the same left thigh injury which last week forced her from Birmingham.
Paszek, who has won just one match since mid-January, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals at the last two editions. But she is now in doubt for next week.
"I can't say really much about the injury just now, I just have to do a couple more scans and analyse with the doctor," said the number 29 defending champion.
"It's really, really painful. I'm going to try my very best to get ready for Wimbledon and try to be positive.
"It happened at 1-all, I stretched a bit too much on the backhand side and actually heard a huge noise, which isn't usually a good sign. It was a sudden pain and I immediately called the trainer.
"I actually won that game, played like three winners on one leg. I knew I wasn't going to be able to continue. I'm going to try my best to even go on court in Wimbledon, try to get ready."
Wildcard Elena Baltacha claimed a British victory, beating Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) while Taiwan's Hsieh Su Wei beat Briton Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3. Laura Robson also took a win, beating Yuliya Beygelzimer 6-3, 6-2.