By Ros Satar
Marina Erakovic def Heather Watson 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3
Whilst Laura Robson wisely stayed out of the Cincinnati draw to give her injured wrist longer to recover, in time for the US Open, Heather Watson was busy trying to regain her position up the rankings.
Having to play the qualifying rounds, she had already dispatched Francescia Schiavone in the first round, and now had to face off against her former doubles partner, Marina Erakovic.
It was be Erakovic who took the first set, after trading breaks, and the New Zealander started as effectively in the second set, breaking Watson in her first service game.
But the girl from Guernsey was having none of it, breaking straight back and then hammering out a hold to love, to put things firmly back on serve.
Erakovic was pushing on Watson’s service game as she served to stay in the set and followed it up with another hold to love to force a tie-break.
A double fault put Watson in the driving seat as she stretched ahead to take the second set .
It would be the Brit who grabbed the early break to lead 3-1, and again for Erakovic to redress the balance with a break back.
Erakovic would go on to break Watson for a second time in the decider, and had to fight to save several break points on her own serve.
Watson again had to serve to stay in the match, but it was though the previous game had taken its toll as Erakovic wound things up when a double fault from Watson gifted her the match.
With only New Haven left before the US Open, Watson has one more chance for some match readiness, and of course for Robson, there are hopes she will have recovered from her wrist injury to get some matches in before the tennis circus descends on New York.