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Watson edged out of Tenerife by Tauson

Heather Watson fought hard and long but fell 8-6 in the final set tiebreak to Denmark’s Clara Tauson, the 7th seed at the Tenerife Ladies Open, on Tuesday as the first round of the WTA 250 event was completed bar one, top seed Elina Svitolina’s match against Maria Camila Osorio Serrano held overnight because of bad light.

Watson narrowly lost for her 6th consecutive match despite turning the contest against teenager Tauson around from 3-5 down in the deciding set, eventually losing in the deciding breaker, 6-4 2-6 7-6(6), after 2 hours 38 minutes.

It has been a tough year for Watson, who is now the British No 3 after newly installed Emma Raducanu grabbed the top spot and injury-stricken Johanna Konta slipped down to No 2.

Apart from one match in the US, Watson extended her losing streak against the talented Dane, who has now won 12 of her last 13 matches and claimed her maiden title in Lyon.

Tauson even took Raducanu, US Open champion, to task in the WTA 125K tournament in Chicago and added the Luxembourg title to her tally.

The Dane is the full package, with an all-court game, coming forward to attack the net and solid off both wings on her ground strokes, and although Tauson won only 61% of her first-serve points to Watson’s 70%, she won 63% of her second-serve points to the Briton’s 46%.

Tauson also narrowly edged out Watson in terms of points won for the match, 104 to 101, on her way to a meeting with Saisai Zheng in round two, after the Chinese beat Spanish wild-card, Rebeka Masarova 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 23 minutes.


Clara Tauson survived a come-back from Heather Heather Watson in Tenerife on Tuesday

© Tenerife Ladies Open/Marta Magni Images

Svitolina, the World No 7 from Ukraine, was forced to wait for the conclusion of her match against Colombia’s Osorio Serrano because of bad light, having taken the first set 7-5 before play was called off until Wednesday.

Russian Varvara Gracheva pulled of the upset of the day when she knocked out Spain’s 3rd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-4 5-7 7-6(4), to advance after a contest that lasted three-and-a-half hours, and she will play American Ann Li for a chance to reach the quarters.

Italian 4th seed Camila Giorgi also progressed after getting past Spanish qualifier Aliona Bolsova, 7-6(4) 3-6 6-4, in 2 hours 47 minutes.

The Italian won marginally more first-serve points than her opponent, 60% to Bolsova’s 59%, and won 50% of her second-serve points to the Spaniard’s 40%, but both went on to break the other’s serve 6 times, saving 4 break points each.

At the end of the match, Giorgi finished with 8 more points than Bolsova, 112 to 104, and the Italian will play Danka Kovinic next, after the Montenegrin won against Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck, 6-3 6-3, in an hour 21 minutes.

Meanwhile, Croatia’s Donna Vekic produced a 6-1 6-4 upset over American 8th seed Alison Riske.

Vekic, who qualified for the main draw, needed 73 minutes to complete the straight sets win over the American, and will play Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania next.

On Monday, Begu made it into the round of 16 by beating Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, 6-4 6-4, the 31-year old ranked 56, getting past the 19-year old World No 53 after an hour 57 minutes.

Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands ousted 5th seed Viktorija Golubic from Switzerland in their opener, 6-3 6-4, in an hour and 58 minutes, and next up for her is Belgina Greet Minnen, who won against Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella, 7-5 7-6(2), in 2 hours 2 minutes.

Golubic’s compatriot, qualifier Stefanie Voegele, also crashed out in the first round at the hands of France’s Alizé Cornet, who cruised past her, 6-1 6-2, in an hour and 12 minutes.

Cornet will play Xinyu Wang for a place in the quarter-finals, while Egypt’s Mayar Sherif reached the second round after a 6-2 6-0 win over Italian wild-card, Lucrezia Stefanini, and she now will play either top seed Svitolina or Osorio Serrano in the second round.

Also on Monday, compatriot qualifier Jaqueline Cristian, upset the No 2 seed, Slovenian Tamara Zidansek, 7-5 4-6 6-1.


© Tenerife Ladies Open/Marta Magni Images



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