Injury not a problem for Watson after loss to qualifier

Great Britain's Heather Watson during her defeat against Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic.
Great Britain's Heather Watson during her defeat against Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic.
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British No 1 Heather Watson dismissed any Wimbledon injury fears despite crashing out of the Aegon Classic in the first round.

The 23-year-old lost 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 to qualifier Aleksandra Krunic on the Ann Jones Centre Court in Birmingham yesterday.

Watson pulled out of the Aegon Open in Nottingham last week citing an elbow problem and was heavily strapped and never looked comfortable.

She remains confident the injury will not hamper her Wimbledon preparations, though, ahead of the Aegon International in Eastbourne, which starts on Monday.

“I’m looking after it and making sure I feel good. I’m definitely going to Eastbourne and I’m definitely going to Wimbledon,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s why I lost, I’m still managing it, still looking after it. I lost because I played really poorly. I made way too many unforced errors, I was very inconsistent. I couldn’t relax, couldn’t find my rhythm and I just didn’t feel comfortable.

“Usually I’ll always go out with some nerves and butterflies and within a game or two they’re gone and I feel good. But I felt it throughout the whole match from beginning until the end and it got worse as the match went on.”

Watson saved two set points but failed to stop the Serbian from cashing in on a third in the tie break to take the first set 7-6.

Krunic, ranked 87th in the world, kept pressing in the second set and forced a break in the seventh game which proved crucial. Watson brought it back to 5-4 but Krunic served for the match with ease.

No 1 seed Simona Halep comfortably beat British wildcard entry Naomi Broady in the second round in straight sets 6-4 6-2 as the world 
No 3 continues her run-up to Wimbledon after losing in the semi finals last year.

Halep was given a bye to the second round while Broady beat Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday.

Elsewhere, Victoria Azarenka beat Varvara Lepchenko 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 and Jelena Jankovic cruised past opponent Tereza Smitkova 6-4 6-4.

Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the French Open in 2009, also beat Karin Knapp 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-2 and qualifier Timea Babos beat Roberta Vinci 6-2 6-7 (7/9) 7-6 (7/5).