By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Heather Watson’s grass court comeback stuttered at Birmingham’s AEGON Classic following a straight set defeat at the hands of Russian Alla Kudryavtseva on Tuesday.
The Guernsey girl will prepare for Wimbledon by competing at Eastbourne, although whether she will be granted a wildcard entry hangs in the balance.
Watson, the British no2, had returned to the WTA Tour – following a two month layoff due to glandular – with a stylish 6-4 7-6 opening round success over Hungarian Melanie Czink.
But facing world no172 Kudryavtseva was a step too far for the 21-year-old, bowing out in the 2nd Round 6-4 6-3 and having only registered two victories since February.
Yet Watson explained: “Winning motivates me for the future.”
Watson, seeded 14 in a low-key affair at Birmingham, showed glimpses of a temper that had never been on public display before by hitting the grass court with her racquet after losing the opening set.
And Kudryavtseva added to her woes by reeling off six games on the bounce to lead by a set and two breaks of serve to come closer to earning a hard fought victory.
Watson snatched her first break of the match to make it 4-2 before the Russian restored her two-break lead. But the Brit went out with a whimper, double faulting on the first match point to gift Kudryavtseva a 3rd Round berth.
Unless Watson can seriously up her game and show more hunger for winning points then her involvement at Devonshire Park’s AEGON International will be shortlived and Wimbledon will come too early for the former British no1.