Heather Watson’s short-lived success at the Italian Open came to an abrupt end when she was lost control of the match and bowed out 6-4 6-2 to Barbora Strycova.
The British #2 seemed to be steaming into the 3rd Round in Rome after soaring into a 4-0 lead.
But Czech Strycova turned on the style to capture the set without dropping and game, and wrapped up the set second with ease.
Watson had stunned world #18 Sara Errani in front of her home fans with a formidable display the previous day, running out a 6-4 2-6 6-0 triumph.
The Eastbourne-bound 23-year-old said: ”I was playing super well, then my opponent stepped up her game but I dropped mine a little – and it turned the match completely.”
“That sometimes happens sometimes, and it happens more often on clay than other surface. I
“It was a big opportunity for me today and I’ll have to learn from this one.”
The Guernsey girl – a regular at the Aegon International – came through Qualifying at the Italian Open and dismissed Errani, a former French Open runner-up, 6-4 3-6 6-0.
Yet Errani required dwo medical time-outs during the first set, which featured seven breaks of serve
It means that Guernsey-born Watson, having edged into the world’s top 56 – where players must be ranked by the cut-off date of 6 June to be selected for the Singles Tournament at the Rio Games in August.
Watson admitted: “The Olympics is just a big goal of mine to play, it just motivates me out there on court and gives me that little bit extra.”