Spirited Watson out but not down

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The best run of Heather Watson's senior career ended in a quarter-final defeat at the WTA event in Auckland yesterday but the 18-year-old Briton was more than satisfied with her week's work.

Watson was beaten 6-4, 7-5 by Shuai Peng but pushed her Chinese opponent all the way on the show court. Watson now heads for Melbourne to attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic sent Serbia into the final of the Hopman Cup in Perth with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ruben Bemelmans. In Doha, Rafael Nadal, who has been suffering from flu all week, sent for the doctor midway through the first set of his Qatar Open quarter-final but still beat Ernests Gulbis 7-6, 6-3. Roger Federer joined Nadal in the last four with a crushing 6-2, 6-2 win over Viktor Troicki.