2016 Italian Open

Watson wilts in Rome

Strycova wrestles control over Brit

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.”

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