Nottingham Open: Heather Watson beats Danielle Lao in straight sets

Last Updated June 12 2018, 20:20Tennis
Heather Watson
Heather Watson

Heather Watson bounced back from her shock defeat at Surbiton last week to move into the second round of the Nottingham Open.

The 26-year-old Watson needed only 73 minutes to claim a convincing 6-1 6-3 win over American world number 252 Danielle Lao.

It was a welcome return to form for Watson, who had been stunned by fellow Briton Gabriella Taylor on her return to grass last week.

Watson now faces British number one Johanna Konta after she produced a composed display to record a straight-set win over Kurumi Nara.

Konta, ranked 22 in the world and the tournament's fourth seed, forced a break against the Japanese player in the very first game before taking control at 4-1 and then closing out the set 6-2.

It was more of the same in the second set, as Konta again broke Nara, the world number 97, in the opening game then again in the ninth to take the set 6-3 and complete her win in just over an hour.

British number five Taylor pushed defending champion Donna Vekic all the way before losing their first round match.

Taylor almost repeated her stunning win over fellow Briton Watson at Surbiton last week as she grabbed an early break in the deciding set.

But Vekic, who required extensive physio on a back injury early in the third, dug deep to come through 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7/3) in a marathon match that fell four minutes short of three hours.

Nevertheless it was another promising performance from the 20-year-old Taylor, who reached a career-best 168 in the world last week.

British number five Gabi Taylor, meanwhile, pushed defending champion Donna Vekic all the way before losing her first-round match.

Taylor had scored a stunning win over Watson at Surbiton last week - and almost repeated the feat as she grabbed an early break in the deciding set.

But Vekic, who required extensive physio on a back injury early in the third, dug deep to come through 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7/3) in a marathon match that fell four minutes short of three hours.

Nevertheless it was another promising performance from the 20-year-old Taylor, who reached a career-best 168 in the world last week.

Katie Boulter is through after the 21-year-old beat Yanina Wickmayer, the world number 98 from Belgium, 6-4 6-4.

However, fellow Briton Katie Swan lost 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 to Germany's world number 117 Mona Barthel.

There was another British player, Katie Swan, who went down 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 to Germany's world number 117 Mona Barthel.

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