Heather Watson's revival halted by first-round Korea loss

The Brit falls at the first hurdle against Nicole Gibbs

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The Independent Online

The British women’s No 1 Heather Watson’s recent resurgence has come to a grinding halt as she suffered another early exit, losing in the first round of the Korea Open to the American qualifier Nicole Gibbs.

Watson, who recently made her way back into the world’s top 50 and was seeded eighth for this tournament, managed to convert just one of seven break points in the first set before Gibbs, ranked 101 in the world, dominated the second in a 7-5, 6-2 win.

The defeat follows Watson’s first-round loss in the US Open last month.

Meanwhile, the Davis Cup will remain an annual tournament despite persistent complaints from some players that it over-burdens an already crowded schedule, the head of the sport’s governing body has said.

Yet earlier this year, Czech double Davis Cup champion Tomas Berdych bemoaned the event’s detrimental effect on his individual career and called for it be a biennial event, like golf’s Ryder Cup. Other top players have suggested replacing it altogether.

“We don’t agree with this [a biennial event] because the calendar of tennis is annual – if you take something away, it’s very difficult the year after,” Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the International Tennis Federation said.

He said the ITF would insist on two other principles for the cup – that ties be played on a home and away basis and for national associations to select their players to compete.