Mexico Open: Heather Watson reacts to quarterfinal win
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There will be concern among Heather Watson’s camp ahead of the US Open after she retired injured during her first round match in Chicago. The 29-year-old impressed as she pushed world No 1 Ash Barty in a close two-setter in Cincinnati last week but looked out of sorts as she faced Ana Bogdan, retiring after just nine games. With the US Open just one week away, Watson’s plans for Flushing Meadows appear in danger.
Watson was competing in the WTA 250 event in Chicago ahead of the upcoming US Open, with the likes of Elina Svitolina and Marketa Vondrousova also opting to get an extra tournament in before the final Grand Slam of the year.
The world No 62 impressed in Cincinnati last week, pushing eventual champion Barty in a tight 6-4 7-6(3) match after coming through qualifying to make the second round.
Despite a positive time in Cincinnati, the Brit looked far from her best as she started her Chicago Open campaign against world No 106 Bogdan.
The Romanian got off to a flying start, taking the first set 6-2 with Watson looking out of form.
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After her opponent then won the first game of the second set, Watson retired the match, having played just 51 minutes.
It means Bogdan faces Varvara Gracheva in the next round, with the world No 88 beating Tamara Zidansek in three sets.
With no reason for the Brit’s retirement announced yet, it’s hoped she will be able to recover in time for the US Open, starting next Monday, August 30.
Meanwhile, her compatriot Emma Raducanu impressed in the Challenger event in Chicago last week.
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The 18-year-old burst onto the scene with a run to the round of 16 at Wimbledon last month, her debut Grand Slam appearance.
She received a wildcard into the WTA 125 event in Chicago – and continued her impressive form.
Raducanu defeated top seed Alison van Uytvanck in the first round, and stormed into the finals after beating America’s Claire Liu 7-6(3) 4-6 6-1 in the semi-final.
The new world No 150 got off to a slow start in the final against Clara Tausonbut stormed back to win the second set 6-2.
Raducanu and her opponent Tauson continued to break each other throughout the deciding set, with the Danish world No 77 finally sealing a 6-1 2-6 6-4 victory.
By making her maiden WTA Tour-level final, the teenager also reached the world’s top 150 for the first time.
Raducanu will now attempt to qualify for a spot in her second Grand Slam main draw at the US Open.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray will take on Frances Tiafoe in the second round of the Winston-Salem Open on Tuesday, August 24 after beating lucky loser Noah Rubin 6-2 6-0 when his original opponent, Nick Kyrgios, withdrew shortly before the match.
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