Heather Watson squanders match point as she makes first-round Wimbledon exit

An early departure on home soil

Andy Sims
Monday 28 June 2021 23:24
<p>Wimbledon 2021 – Day One – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club</p>

Wimbledon 2021 – Day One – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Heather Watson suffered a late night horror show as she tumbled out of Wimbledon to lucky loser Kristie Ahn.

Watson, Britain’s best hope in the women’s singles this fortnight following Johanna Konta’s withdrawal, had her match moved to Court One after rain wrecked the first half of the opening day.

But the 29-year-old fell to a sixth first-round exit in 11th Wimbledon appearances after a three-set marathon finished 2-6 7-6 (3) 8-6 at 10.17pm.

Watson reeled off four games in a row to wrap up the first set, but Ahn, who lost in qualifying but landed a place in the main draw when reigning champ Simona Halep pulled out through injury, broke early in the second.

Watson saved a set point with one punishing forehand and broke back with another to square the set, only for a sloppy tie-break to level the match.

However, with the roof now closed, a pumped-up Watson broke for 5-4 but blew a match point on serve, allowing Ahn to hit back and book a second-round meeting with fellow American Sloane Stephens.

An emotional Watson said: “Obviously I’m really disappointed with the match today.

“I felt like I had so many chances, I just didn’t convert any of them. Even in the third set, I didn’t return well, I made loads of unforced errors and I didn’t back myself in the big moments.

“I fought as hard as I could, but some days your tennis just doesn’t fall together.”

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