Watson makes winning switch to grass

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The Independent Online

Heather Watson, fresh into the world top 100 after her French Open first-round win, carried her good clay-court form over on to grass by defeating the 15th seed Chanelle Scheepers in the Aegon Classic in Birmingham yesterday.

The 19-year-old British women's No 2 had a 6-3 7-5 win over the South African, the world No 65, to earn a second-round meeting with either Misaki Doi or Edina Gallovits-Hall.

But three other Britons, Melanie South, Emily Webley-Smith and Samantha Murray, were all beaten.

Watson, from Guernsey, quickly went 1-3 down but once she cut out the unforced errors she took seven games in a row to go 6-3, 2-0 up. The South African fought back when Watdon served for the match at 5-4 but the Briton broke back to seal victory.

Watson, the former US Open girls champion, has climbed to a career-high 93rd in the rankings after coming through three qualifying rounds at Roland Garros. Previously ranked 117, Watson has overtaken Anne Keothavong in the domestic ratings behind world No 74 Elena Baltacha.