Watson sent packing in Japan

ESPN staff
October 7, 2013
Heather Watson has struggled since capturing the title here 12 months ago © Getty Images

Heather Watson's miserable year continues as the reigning champion was dumped out of the Japan Open after losing 6-4 6-4 to Monica Puig.

The 21-year-old became the first British WTA titlist since 1988 when capturing her maiden trophy 12 months ago, but since then the country's No. 2 player has struggled as she continues to slide in the rankings.

Placed at No. 49 at the beginning of the year, Watson is now just eight places inside the world's top 100, down at 92 after a year of injuries and early-round losses.

She was unable to get going in the contest and wobbled on her serve, seeing her opponent Puig breaking no fewer than five times throughout the match. Despite the difficulties, Watson was 3-1 up in the second set, but seventh seed Puig hit back to clinch the win and send the defending champion out.

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