Watson beaten in Baku

  • Last Updated: July 23 2014, 9:57 BST

Heather Watson was broken seven times as she was dumped out of the first round of the Baku Cup by France's Kristina Mladenovic.

Watson: Crashed out in Baku
Watson: Crashed out in Baku

Watson, the British number one who was seeded seventh in Azerbaijan, was in action for the first time since falling at the second round at Wimbledon but it was to prove an unsuccessful return for the 22-year-old as she slumped to a 6-2 3-6 6-0 loss.

Things started badly for Watson as Mladenovic raced into a 3-0 lead and the unseeded Frenchwoman, who reached the semi-finals in Istanbul last week, broke for a second time to clinch the first set.

The second set was a topsy-turvy affair which included six service breaks - four of them to Watson as the world number 57 levelled up the match at 1-1.

Watson, who had won two of her previous four matches with Mladenovic but was beaten in their last meeting in France two years ago, would have hoped to kick on for victory from there but she was broken three more times in the final set to suffer a convincing loss.

Top seed Sorana Cirstea overcame her recent shoulder problems to post a confident straight-sets victory over wildcard Ons Jabeur.

Cirstea marked her debut in the WTA event by dismissing Jabeur 6-3 6-3, despite having played only one match in the last two months due to a troublesome shoulder.

The Romanian was broken early in the contest, but recovered immediately in a win that lasted one hour and 29 minutes.

Fourth seed Kurumi Nara was downed 6-2 6-2 by former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, while Elina Svitolina title defence with a 6-2 6-4 win over qualifier Nigina Abduraimova. The number two seed took seven match points to finish off her opponent.

Int he day's other match, Magdalena Rybarikova lost 6-4 7-6 (9/7) to qualifier Misa Eguchi to continue her wretched run of form.