AEGON International: Heather Watson all set for centre test

Heather Watson
Heather Watson

British No.1 Heather Watson will be in centre court action in round one of the AEGON International against Varvara Lepchenko on Monday.

Watson is second up on centre court and will play her American opponent, who is ranked 38th in the world, after 2005 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova completes her match against Slovakian qualifier Magdalena Rybarikova.

Third on centre is Canadian Eugenie Bouchard who will face Alison Riske of America.

Defending champion Madison Keys is the last singles match on centre court and will take on Swiss player Belinda Bencic.

Watson will hope for better fortunes in Eastbourne after a disappointing display at the AEGON Classic in Birmingham earlier this week.

Watson, 23, was forced to pull out of last week’s Nottingham Open with an elbow injury and struggled to find any rhythm against Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic, ranked 87 in the world, and crashed out in straight sets 7-6, 6-4.

Last year Watson also departed the Classic at the first round stage, losing to former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic, who then went on to claim the title.

She did however enjoy better fortunes in Eastbourne where she went on to reach the semi-final, losing to 2014 winner Madison Keys.

Watson said, “I look forward to playing Eastbourne. I love playing there. I usually play pretty well there, so looking forward to it.

On her troublesome elbow, she added, “I’m just looking after it, making sure I feel good, managing it, and I’m definitely going to Eastbourne and definitely going to Wimbledon.

“I’m just going to look after my body, stay healthy, and I look forward to definitely playing better.

“I’m still looking after my elbow, still managing it, but I lost because I just played really poorly,” the British No1 explained. “I made way too many unforced errors and was very inconsistent.”