Johanna Konta is on course for a showdown with new women’s world No.1 Ashleigh Barty after returning to home comforts at Eastbourne.

The British No.1 launched her challenge in her local tournament with a comfortable straight sets victory against teenage Ukraine qualifier Dayana Yastremska in the first round of the Nature Valley International yesterday.

Konta now seeks revenge for her defeat on clay by Maria Sakkari in the final of last month’s Morocco Open.

She will be favourite on the Devonshire Park grass to beat the Greek, a straight sets victim in the last 32 when Konta reached the Wimbledon semi-finals two years ago.

That would lead to a likely clash with French Open champion Barty, fresh from winning the Birmingham title which has lifted the Australian to the top of the rankings.

Konta had the hiccups after the match but there were few hiccups on centre court against 19-year-old Yastremska, a replacement for Donna Vekic who withdrew before the conclusion of qualifying with a hip injury.

Konta took the opening set with successive breaks of serve from 2-2 as the errors increased from her hard-hitting but inconsistent opponent, including a wildly overhit forehand drive volley which gifted a 5-2 cushion.

Yastremska made Konta work harder in the second set, digging in to save four break points in the seventh game.

Konta, semi-finalist at the French Open, broke through again to edge 5-4 ahead and served out convincingly.

She said: “I knew against Dayana that she comes out swinging and plays big. Sometimes there is very little rhythm to the match, so I really had to take care of things. Overall I was really pleased.”

Konta has a good record at her home town tournament. She was a semi-finalist in 2017 and lost narrowly in the last 16 last year to Caroline Wozniacki.

“I’ve played some great matches here and when a player feels comfortable in the area and the surroundings that gives them every opportunity to play at a good level,” she said.

“It’s never guaranteed but I definitely feel I have the opportunity to play well here.”

Elsewhere in the women’s main draw, British wild card trio Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan all suffered first round exits, the latter pair in three sets.

In the men’s event, 19-year-old Brit Paul Jubb is through to the main draw after another impressive performance.

The teenager followed up Saturday’s win against the experienced Denis Istomin with another three-set triumph yesterday against Russian world top 100 player Andrey Rublev.

British No.5 Jamie Ward also progressed into the first round, defeating American Denis Kudla in straight sets.