Watson, Robson and Konta exit in R2, Aegon Classic – Birmingham

By Ros Satar

It was a bad day at the office for all three British women left in the Aegon Classic today as all three fell in the second round.

Alla Kudryavtseva def Heather Watson 6-4 6-3

First up was Heather Watson, who started back at the French Open after taking time off to recover from glandular fever.

If she was “super-disappointed” with her early exit in Paris, she will most likely feel the same after losing to Alla Kudryavtseva in Birmingham.

In fact, the grass of the Midlands seems to be a nemesis for Watson, as the Russian leads their head-to-head with a defeat on grass there in 2010.

It was quite evenly matched in the first set, but it was the Russian who took advantage of Watson, closing out the set with just the one break of serve.

Things soon went downhill though, as Kudryavtseva won four more games in a row before Watson clawed herself onto the board (4-1).

The rest of the match saw the women trading four breaks between them, but the damage had been done early in the second set, with the 14th seed exiting in the second round.

Daniela Hantuchova def Laura Robson 6-3 6-4

Next up was Laura Robson, against Daniela Hantuchova.

Robson had a bye into the second round, but lost her serve twice in the first set, and never really got back on terms with Hantuchova, who has been playing herself back into form recently.

The pattern was repeated in the second set with an immediate break, and from then on, all Hantuchova needed to do was keep her nose in front.

Kristina Mladenovic def Johanna Konta 6-4 6-1

The British trio exit was completed at around the same time as the British no. 3, Johanna Konta could not capitalise on a good win yesterday, losing a competitive first set with some long tussles.

But it all went away from the British teenager rapidly in the second set with breaks at either end of the set to shut the door on any further Brits in the singles draw.

Robson has already gone out of the doubles (as have Tara Moore and Melanie South).

But Watson (partnered with Vera Dushevina) and Konta/Anne Keothavong have yet to get underway – so at least there will be some further opportunity for grass practice.

Robson and Watson are expected to lead home hopes at next week’s Aegon International at Eastbourne.

Picture Credit: fête_accompli via Commons.wikimedia.org