• Cincinnati Masters

Erratic Watson crashes out at first hurdle

ESPN staff
August 11, 2014
Heather Watson's Rogers Cup run saw her up to 46 in the world rankings © Getty Images

Heather Watson fell at the first hurdle in the Cincinnati Masters with an erratic display against Shuai Zhang.

Watson, who returned to the world's top 50 with a run to the third round at last week's Rogers Cup, ended the match with a first-serve percentage of just 47% as she fell 6-3 2-6 7-5 in a little more than two hours.

Watson, 22, won her previous outing against China's Zhang, winning in straight sets in Estoril two years ago, but looked out of sorts in the first set.

The British No.1 rallied to take the second set after some stern words from coach Diego Veronelli. She then came back from 3-0 down to level the decider and saved two match points at 4-5 but was eventually undone.

Zhang will face former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki after she defeated Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 6-3.

Top-ranked Serena Williams, Rogers Cup winner Aga Radwanska, Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard and French Open champion Maria Sharapova all received byes and will get their Cincinnati Masters campaigns underway on Tuesday.

In the men's draw, British No.1 Andy Murray also has a bye and will face Portugal's Joao Sousa after he beat American qualifier Chase Buchanan 5-7 7-6(3) 7-6(5).

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