Watson through to second round

Published: Wednesday 25th March 2015 by The News Editor

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British number one Heather Watson battled through more than two hours of sweltering heat at the Miami Open as she recovered from a set down to defeat Russian qualifier Evgeniya Rodina 3-6 6-1 7-5 to reach the second round.

Watson, ranked 41 in the world, was broken in the opening service game on the Grandstand Court, and following some more wild returns suddenly found herself 4-0 down inside 15 minutes as the first set ran away from her with some 20 unforced errors.

However, the 22-year-old used the rest period to compose herself before inflicting an early break on the world number 96 in the first game, which set the tone of the second set.

Rodina had beaten Watson in their previous two matches, from 2010 on clay at Dothan, and 2011 in Memphis, and returned to the tour last year following the birth of her daughter.

However, the 26-year-old was soon trailing 5-1 as Watson consolidated her advantage with another break before holding to love in game six.

The Briton levelled the match after another long return by the Russian, with both players then taking the opportunity of going off court for the bathroom break.

As the heat continued to be a factor, sapping energy levels, Watson recovered composure to hold her serve and then consolidated a break to lead 5-2.

However, Rodina offered stubborn resistance to win the next three games, with Watson left frustrated after a some somewhat controversial call from the umpire going against her.

The British number one, though, was not to be denied, holding serve to lead again at 6-5 and then converting a first match point when Rodina’s return hit the top of the net and dropped just wide.

Watson, who had reached the fourth round in Indian Wells, will next face Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the world number 15.

Published: Wednesday 25th March 2015 by The News Editor

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