Watson likely to drop to British No. 3 after opening loss in Miami

 

By Ros Satar

  • Patricia Maria Tig def. Heather Watson 7-6(4) 6-1
  • Projected to fall below Naomi Broady in the rankings to become British No. 3 when the rankings come out after the Miami Open
  • Has been as high as No. 38 in the world
MIAMI, USA – Heather Watson lost in the first round of the Miami Open to Romanian qualifier Patricia Maria Tig.

 

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Patricia Maria Tig def. Heather Watson 7-6(4) 6-1

Despite what looked like a confident start with an immediate break, Heather Watson struggled to keep pace as Patricia Maria Tig started to find her range. The qualifier broke straight back and again a few games on to take the advantage.

Watson battled hard to finally convert on a fourth break point to bring things level at 5-5 and in a tight and nervy tie-break, Tig broke twice to take the first set.

From there Watson fell away markedly as Tig broke at the start of the second set for a 3-0 lead, breaking Watson once more and serving the set out to love.

 

Ranking Implications

Watson was defending fourth round points here but in talking with her at Indian Wells, she told us she was trying to put out thoughts of the rankings out of her mind and taking things match by match. The Brit reached a career high of No. 38 in the world (19 January 2015) after winning Hobart prior to the Australian Open.

It marked a comeback that saw her surpass her previous high of No.39 as she consolidated her season after winning her first title at the end of 2012 in Osaka. She backed that up with a run to the third round of the Australian Open.

However a diagnosis of glandular fever after a series of tough losses saw her drop out of the Top 100 to a low of No. 162. The Brit dropped back to ITF level events winning titles (Midland MI 100K and Prague 100K) before a run to the semi-finals of Eastbourne helped her back inside the Top 75.

She reached her career high with that second title, and has bounced around the rankings but remained in the Top 100 until the week of Indian Wells where she dropped to No. 108. She is scheduled to play in Monterrey where she is defending her third title.

The WTA International in Monterrey takes place between 3-9 April.

 

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