Watson & Konta Advance in Birmingham

By Ros Satar

British no. 2, Heather Watson started her grass court season with a win over Melinda Czink in Birmingham, 6-4, 7-6(0)

Watson, seeded 14th, needed just the one break in the first set to stay ahead , quickly getting the first set under her belt in 35 minutes.

The second set was a bit more tense, after Watson was broken serving for the set (at 5-4), compounded by a brief stoppage for rain.

Still, Watson made up for that small lapse by completely dominating the tie-break, winning it to love.

Watson will face qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva in R2.

There was a very good win for British no. 3, Johanna Konta as she despatched qualifier Kumuri Nara in straight sets 6-2 6-4.

There were just two holds in the first set, both by Konta.

The second set was a bit more consistent by both players, with Konta breaking early and just maintaining that advantage.

A couple of places below her in the rankings, Tara Moore faced the 12th seed Kristina Mladenovic and gave the Frenchwoman a tough test.

Moore got the better of Mladenovic on her fifth break point and after a couple more breaks had been traded, found herself serving for the set, showing no sign of the jitters as she held to love.

Moore must have thought she was in with a great chance to cause a bit of an upset as she went toe-to-toe with her opponent, ranked 155 places above her.

This time, perhaps nerves played a part as she lost her mini-break advantage, leaving Mladenovic to split sets.

Experience won through with the Frenchwoman taking the decider 6-4, but it was a great effort by the 21-year-old.

Mladenovic will face Johanna Konta in the next round.

There were losses for Brits in the doubles today – Laura Robson and Lisa Raymond lost in straight sets to Cara Black and Marina Erakovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

The wildcard pairing of Tara Moore and Melanie South lost in a tighter three-setter to second seeds Hao-Ching Chan and Liezel Huber, 5-7, 6-1, 10-8.

Wednesday’s schedule sees Robson start her singles campaign, against Daniela Hantuchova.

Picture Credit: Keith Allison