British number one Heather Watson won in straight sets against Varvara Lepchenko in the first round of the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

With play suspended due to rain when the action was due to get under way on Monday morning, Watson's match against her American opponent finally got started just before 6pm on Centre Court.

After edging a first set tie-break, Watson came through with ease, triumphing 7-6 (7/5) 6-2.

On her WTA debut, British wildcard Harriet Dart was knocked out as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

The 18-year-old from London fell to a 6-1 6-3 loss to the 2014 Australian Open finalist in a match lasting an hour and 19 minutes on Court One, while her opponent set up a clash with this year's French Open runner-up and third seed Lucie Safarova.

Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from this week's event due to illness - one week before beginning the defence of her Wimbledon title.

There was better news for Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog, who claimed a hard-fought 7-5 6-4 win over America's Madison Brengle to reach the second round.

Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2009 French Open champion, was made to work hard before completing a 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 win over Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.

Irina Falconi of the United States made light work of Alexandra Dulgheru as she eased past her fellow qualifier with a 6-1 6-1 victory to set up a second-round match against 2008 winner Agnieszka Radwanska.

Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania suffered a 6-4 6-2 defeat to Czech Barbora Strycova, Australia's Jarmila Gajdosova hit back to beat fellow qualifier Lauren Davis of the United States 2-6 6-2 6-1, while Camila Giorgi of Italy eased past American Christina McHale 6-2 6-3.