Watson beaten in Miami

Published: Saturday 28th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Heather Watson’s challenge at the Miami Open ended in the second round as Angelique Kerber won their rain-affected clash which spanned two days.

World number 15 Kerber had edged the first set 7-5 on Friday though a rain interruption meant play was suspended and then abandoned for the day.

Watson came out fighting on Saturday and pushed the match to three sets, but was unable to keep pace with her higher-ranked German opponent, who triumphed 7-5 3-6 6-4 in two-and-a-half hours.

Watson had pushed Kerber all the way to three sets in their only prior meeting – at Wimbledon in 2014 where the Briton exited at the second round.

Keen to take her revenge, Watson again fought a tight battle to only narrowly lose the first set on Friday, having also broken Kerber twice en route.

The players were brought off court due to the weather and, although the rain stopped for a short time, it soon returned and play was abandoned for the day.

The unexpected respite seemed to empower Watson, who at the restart on Saturday broke Kerber to take a 2-0 lead early on, and just about kept the German at bay.

Watson stuttered on her serve on occasion – even double-faulting twice – but showed enough resolve at the receiving end to break Kerber three times and take the second set 6-3.

World number 41 Watson had already endured a three-setter earlier in the week to reach the second round, and was once again pushing the two-hour mark when Kerber took a 2-0 lead at the start of the third.

The strain was clearly showing as Kerber cruised to a 5-1 lead, and though Watson began a great comeback to make it 5-4, the German had the final word and sealed the match on the Watson serve.

Kerber now faces Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round after she beat Alison Riske.

Published: Saturday 28th March 2015 by The News Editor

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