2016 Aegon Open

Watson woe in Nottingham

Brit loses in first match at Aegon Open

Heather Watson became one of three Brits to fall at the first hurdle in the Aegon Open at Nottingham, failing to join British #1 Johanna Konta in the 2nd Round.

The opening British grass tournament on the WTA Tour saw Watson become an early casualty after suffering at the hands of Magdalena Rybarikova.

Watson, who is in the Aegon International qualifiers at Eastbourne, was beaten 4-6 6-0 6-4 by Slovakian Rybarikova.

The #6 seed appeared to be in charge after taking the opening set, but then fell apart in the next set without winning a game.

Despite the vocal support for the British #2 from the stands, Rybarikova held the advantage in the third set courtesy of an early break of serve and sealed success.

Two other Brits also bowed out, 22-year-old wildcard Laura Robson beaten by Michelle Larcher de Brito and Naomi Broady defeated by Su-Wei Hsieh.

Robson, who has been shocking poor on the Tour and at lower tier tournaments since her much ridiculed comeback at last year’s Aegon International, was broken six times to lose 6-3 7-5 to the Portuguese.

Robson had hit a purple patch in the second set to race into a promising 4-1 lead against the world #246 only to loss the next five games.

And staring defeat in the face the Brit broke to level matters, only to fluff chances for Larcher de Brito to win the next two games to progress.

Broady lacked the same fighting spirit as Robson briefly showed, beaten 6-2 6-1 by the Taiwanese.

Tara Moore, the British #4 overshadowed her compatriots by soaring into the 2nd Round courtesy of a 6-2 7-5 success over Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-2 7-5 in only her second main draw match on the WTA Tour.

Although the world #280 won the ITF event at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park last week, she will need a wildcard to compete at either the Aegon International or Wimbledon.

The only guaranteed Brit into the main draw at Devonshire Park is Eastbourne-based Konta – who has just broken into the world’s top 20 for the first time and started this year ranked #48.

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