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Watson shows nerves of steel but Broady and Robson bow out


By Eleanor Crooks

Heather Watson continued her fine form on grass with victory over Maryna Zanevska to reach the second round of Wimbledon.

The British No.2 has had a difficult season, but turned things around last week in Eastbourne by reaching the semi-finals.

It was the confidence boost Watson needed and she took advantage of a kind draw against Belgium's Maryna Zanevska to win 6-1 7-6 (7-5).

There was a wobble at the end of the second set as Watson missed three match points and was taken to a tie-break, but she held on.

Watson, whose scalps in Eastbourne included the tournament's defending champion Dominika Cibulkova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, made a flying start on Court Two, winning the first five games.

Zanevska, ranked 119th in the world, stopped the rot to avoid a bagel and made a correct Hawk-Eye challenge to deny Watson when she thought she had won the set.

But the 25-year-old took her next set point and broke serve again at the start of the second.

Zanevska provided stronger resistance this time but Watson kept her nose in front until she served for the match.

In a topsy-turvy game, Watson saved two break points and created three match points but could not take any of them and Zanevska levelled at 5-5.

A tight tie-break could have gone either way, but it was Watson who brought up a fourth match point and took it when Zanevska fired a forehand long.

Next up for the British No.2 is a meeting with either 18th seed Anastasija Sevastova or Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva.

Meanwhile, Naomi Broady became the second British woman to lose at Wimbledon after she endured a straight-sets defeat to Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu.

Broady was given a wild card for the main draw at the All England Club but was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Begu and followed compatriot Laura Robson in crashing out of the first round.

Defeat means Broady has reached round two only once in six visits to Wimbledon, while World No.64 Begu goes through to face either Germany's Sabine Lisicki or the promising Croatian Ana Konjuh.

An upturn in form saw Broady break into the world's top 100 in the second half of last year but, now ranked 109th, she never found her rhythm on Court 14.

Her powerful serve was broken midway through the opening set and Begu never looked back, before storming into a 5-1 lead in the second.

Broady reduced the deficit with a firm forehand volley but any hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed as Begu served out for a comfortable win to progress to round two.

Belfast Telegraph


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