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Heather Watson left to fly flag as Konta and Robson exit French Open

By Eleanor Crooks

Published 25/05/2016

Upbeat: Johanna Konta is taking the positives from her defeat
Upbeat: Johanna Konta is taking the positives from her defeat

Heather Watson is the only Briton left in singles competition here at the French Open after Johanna Konta and Laura Robson both fell at the first hurdle.

Watson faces number 13 seed Svetlana Aleksandrovna today.

If Robson’s 6-2 6-2 defeat by Andrea Petkovic was no surprise given their disparity in the rankings, Konta’s 6-2 6-3 loss to another German, Julia Goerges, was a disappointment given the 25-year-old was seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time.

This was a rare setback in what has been an almost exclusively upward path for Konta in the last 12 months. When she arrived here 12 months ago she was ranked No 143 in the world.

Since then, runs to the fourth round of the US Open and the semi-finals of the Australian Open, plus five victories over top 10 opponents, have helped take her to a career-high position at No 21 in the world.

“I didn’t do quite enough to make the match as competitive as I would have liked, which is disappointing,” Konta said yesterday after her first round exit.

Robson, meanwhile, continues her long struggle to regain former glories following her long lay-off after wrist surgery.

Wimbledon may well give her a wild card, but after that she will go back to playing in smaller tournaments on the ITF circuit.

“I don’t want to be ranked 300 for very much longer,” she said. “My goal is the top 100. Then I’ll see where I go after that.”

Karola Bejenaru has earned herself another valuable world ranking point after booking her place in the last 16 of a $10,000 tournament in her native Romania yesterday.

The 18-year-old Windsor ace swept to an impressive 6-4 6-4 win over Andreea Rosch to make up for last week’s disappointment when she was beaten in the first round of a similar competition. In order to receive world ranking points, qualification for the second round is essential so Bejenaru will be out to build on her latest success.

However, the going is set to get tougher as she is likely to face sixth-seeded Moldovan Anastasia Dovenko, who, at the age of 22, is much more experienced.

Dovenko is listed at 609 in the world, 200 places higher than the east Belfast-based teenager, who went into the tournament as the 14th-ranked player, meaning she didn’t have to go through qualifying.

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