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Cool Watson gives her Rio dream a real boost in Italy

By Paul Newman

Heather Watson recorded one of her best victories on clay when she beat local favourite Sara Errani 6-4 3-6 6-0 to reach the second round of the Italian Open.

Errani is at her best on clay, but the World No.18 is not in top form. Watson now plays the Czech Republic's Barbora Strycova, with Angelique Kerber, the Australian Open champion, possibly awaiting in the third round.

The Briton is No.55 in the world and this victory has enhanced her chances of making the Rio Olympics this summer.

Momentum shifted in the first two sets, with each taking one apiece. Watson, however, played an excellent final set to progress.

Serena and Venus Williams lost in the first round of the doubles when they were beaten 6-1, 7-5 by Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik.

Earlier, Venus won her first-round match in the singles, beating Coco Vandeweghe 6-4 6-3. Serena has a first-round bye before playing her opening match against Anna-Lena Friedsam

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