Watson suffers Radwanska defeat

18 January 2013 / 06:52

Heather Watson's impressive run at the Australian Open came to an end at the hands of in-form fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Watson, who saved three match points against Ksenia Pervak in her previous match, was far from disgraced in this third-round match as Radwanska claimed a 6-3 6-1 win in 84 minutes.

Despite her defeat, Watson, who is ranked number 50 in the world, can reflect with satisfaction on a good week Down Under, with wins against Alexandra Cadantu and Pervak suggesting the 20-year-old from Guernsey is on course to remain upwardly mobile in 2013.

And she started well here, Watson hit back from 0-30 down to win the opening game. She even had chances to claim a 3-1 first-set lead but Radwanska repelled the danger - firstly with a wide serve and secondly when Watson sent a backhand long.

Perhaps sensing the need to raise her performance level, the world number four held and then broke to move 3-2 ahead, her forehand down the line proving a particularly potent weapon.

She claimed the Watson serve once again to move 5-2 up and although Watson got one of the breaks back, Radwanska responded again to take the first set.

Watson may have been encouraged by Radwanska having to call the trainer to treat the little finger on her right hand but the injury proved nothing more than a minor distraction for the 23-year-old from Krakow.

By now going through her full repertoire, Radwanska was dominant although Watson showed admirable resolve never to give up on the contest. Watson got on the board in the sixth game before the title contender served it out.

British hopes in the women's draw now rest with Laura Robson, who enjoyed a stunning 11-9 final-set triumph over Petra Kvitova on Thursday. Robson will meet another rising star, American Sloane Stephens.