Watson loses to Wozniacki in Eastbourne semi-finals
|Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Date: 26 June-1 July|
|Coverage: Live across BBC Two, Red Button, Connected TVs and online. Click here for times|
Heather Watson’s fine run at the Aegon International in Eastbourne came to an end when she was beaten 6-2 3-6 7-5 by Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals.
The Briton, ranked 126 after a disappointing year, had her serve broken three times by the world number six in a nervous first set.
Watson, 25, fought back well to take the Dane to a third set.
But Wozniacki, the 2009 champion, won the key points in a tight decider to secure her place in Saturday’s final.
Wozniacki, 26, will play third seed Karolina Pliskova for the title after the Czech had a walkover victory over Johanna Konta.
British number one Konta withdrew from her semi-final against Pliskova because of a back injury picked up in her quarter-final win over world number one Angelique Kerber of Germany.
Watson fightback ends in defeat
Watson, from Guernsey, last won a tournament in March 2016 and appeared nervous in the first set.
However, she played more aggressively in the second, breaking former world number one Wozniacki to lead 4-2.
Wozniacki called for the trainer because of an abdominal strain after the next game – but Watson kept her focus to level the match.
The British number three maintained her positive approach to break Wozniacki’s serve early in the third set but the Dane, who seemed unaffected by her injury, broke back straight away.
Wozniacki kept plugging away and had two match points in the 12th game, taking the second after Watson hit a forehand into the net.
Nevertheless, it was a morale-boosting week for Watson after wins over defending champion Dominika Cibulkova, 14th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Barbora Strycova.
“I like to play the week before a Grand Slam and get matches in,” she said.
“The more matches I play the better I feel. It is the best preparation I could have had this week for Wimbledon.”
Former British number one Sam Smith
Heather will feel a little bit disappointed because she turned things around after a passive opening set and was up a break up in the third.
The plus side is she has lots of confidence, is playing well and can go into Wimbledon with this run of form behind her.
She looked like a top-20 player in the second set which is where she should probably be rather than 126.
She can play a very aggressive game in practice but seems to leave it in the locker room because she feels she needs to be careful with her shots rather than hitting them as hard as she can.