• WTA Tour

Watson romps into third round in Birmingham

ESPN staff
June 8, 2011
Heather Watson fires a backhand © PA Photos

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Britain's Heather Watson built on her encouraging display at the French Open with a straight sets victory over Misaki Doi in the second round of the AEGON Classic in Birmingham.

Watson started slowly - seeing her serve broken immediately - but fought back with no delay, eroding the Japanese player's early advantage and then rushing away with the first set.

She was broken once again in the second stanza, but feasted on her opponent's weak second serves to grab the two breaks she needed on the way to an eventual 6-2 6-4 victory.

A questionable line-call denied Watson on her first match-point, but the youngster composed herself despite a few subsequent misses to ensure she finished the job.

"The bad call on the first match point was really rough but eventually these thing even themselves out," Watson said afterwards. "I tried not to get too angry and pumped otherwise I would have lost focus. I got there in the end on fourth match point.

"It was a tough day mentally waiting around in the players lounge. The game ahead of us came came off three or four times so I listened to my iPod, had a nap, kept hydrated, ate some food. It was difficult.

"I didn't play as well as I did in the opening round but my serve was my saviour. I served really well. My drop shot didn't work so well though, in fact I think I lost every point off it."

One person who found her match even easier than Watson was second seed Ana Ivanovic, who dropped just one game on the way to a 6-1 6-0 of Georgian Anna Tatishvili.

The Serbian needed just 45 minutes to conclude the contest, despite dropping her only game of the whole match on her serve - something she might nevertheless dwell on as the tournament progresses.

Sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova was less fortunate, however, being upset by Tamira Paszek 6-4 3-6 6-4.

There were also wins at the Edgbaston Priory Club for fourth seed Daniela Hantuchova - who breezed past Sorana Cirstea 6-0 6-3 - and 13th seed Rebecca Marino, who disposed of qualifier Rika Fujiwara 6-1 6-2.

Two seeds found themselves bumped out of the event, however, as ninth seed Ayumi Morita failed to recover from the loss of a first set tie-break on the way to a 7-6(2) 6-2 defeat against Andrea Hlavackova - while 11th seed Yaroslava Shvedova also had tie-break woe as she fell to New Zealand's Marina Erakovic 7-6(7) 7-5.

Further north, at the Nottingham Challenge, Elena Baltacha kept alive the prospect of a semi-final meeting with Anne Keothavong after a 6-3 6-4 victory over Tetiana Luzhanska to make her way into the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, in Copenhagen fifth seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycov was the big casualty of the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open, losing to Germany's Mona Barthel 7-6(2) 6-4.

Eighth seed Alberta Brianti avoided a similarly ignominious exit, but needed three sets to do so as she eventually saw off Zuzana Kucova 3-6 6-4 6-1. Alona Bondarenko also needed to go the distance to defeat Kathrin Woerle, in a topsy-turvy 6-0 1-6 6-2 win that took nearly two hours.

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