Bedene joins Konta in R2, Watson out in Acapulco – Recap & Previews

  • Aljaz Bedene defeated Ivo Karlovic 6-4 1-2 (retired)
  • Christina McHale defeated Heather Watson 4-6 6-0 7-6(1)
  • Bedene faces Robin Haase in the second round
  • Johanna Konta v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni for a place in the quarter-final

ACAPULCO, MEXICO – Men’s British No. 2 Aljaz Bedene joined women’s British No. 1 Johanna Konta in the second round, but there was no joy for Heather Watson at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL.

RECAPS

Aljaz Bedene def. Ivo Karlovc [3] 6-4 2-1 (retired)

For the second time in their career meetings, Bedene advanced at the expense of Karlovic due to a retirement. It has been an unhappy run of times for Karlovic since the start of this year – he has yet to win a match in four outings, with two retirements.

Then again Bedene will be glad of the win – after bowing out in the semi-finals of the season opener at ATP Chennai, where he lost to Borna Coric.

From the start of the match, Bedene was able to put Karlovic’s legendary serving under pressure, bringing up a break point in Karlovic’s second and third service games, before finally capitalising on a third chance at the tail end of the set, serving it out confidently to love for the first set.

Ironically, despite saving a break point in the opening game of the second set, and serving out to love in the third, Karlovic withdrew giving Bedene a much needed win.

Christina McHale def. Heather Watson 4-6 6-0 7-6(1)

It was a battle of wills for sure for the British No. 2 Watson, rapidly going down 0-3 at the start of the match before pulling the American back, and as the pair seemed to settle into their rhythm, Watson made good on her second set point to take the first set.

McHale mounted a dominant charge in the second set, again leaping out to a 3-0 start and this time breaking a third time for a clean sweep to level the match.

The third set was a lot more competitive with the pair trading breaks at the business end of the set – enough to force a tie-break. It was a rough for the Brit who lost all her serves, just gaining one mini-break back after McHale had leapt to a 5-0 lead. The bad news continued as Watson, teaming up with Konta bowed out in the first round of the doubles too.

PREVIEWS

Aljaz Bedene v Robin Haase – H2H: Bedene leads 1-0

Bedene had a straight sets win over the Dutchman in Chennai, 2013, but on view of their last 10 matches, perhaps the edge of consistency goes to Haase who snapped his own four match losing streak in Marseille.

Possessed of some good clean hitting and good movement around the court, he will need his returning to be sharp as Haase has a hefty serve, but is attackable on his weaker backhand side and hits the ball quite flat.

The pair are not far apart on in the rankings so this is a tough one to call, but it is a winnable match for the Brit.

Johanna Konta v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

It has been a long time since the pair met on the lower tiers of the women’s tour, and Croatian has not been averse to a bit of dream running herself, after reaching the fourth round of the US Open in 2014, and re-entering the Top 100 for the first time in 15 years.

This could be a harder match-up for the Brit than it looks on paper. Perhaps there was an element of getting rid of the rust in a tough three setter against Anett Kontaveit, while Lucic-Baroni sailed through her first round in comparison, for the loss of just five games.

On paper, the Brit, who hit a new career high this week should prevail, but again this would not be a surprise if it was another testing three setter, but wins bring confidence.

Bedene and Haase are scheduled on Cancha 1 at 5pm (11pm GMT); Konta and Lucic-Baroni are scheduled on Cancha 4, not before 7pm (1am GMT, Thursday).

 

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