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  • Dart beats Watson in first round
Monterrey Open

Dart beats Watson in first round


Harriet Dart. COURTESY

  • SPORTS
  • AFP
  • Published: 18 Mar 2021, 11:04 AM

Britain's Harriet Dart beat compatriot Heather Watson in straight sets in the first round of the Monterrey Open. Dart - who is third in the British rankings, one place lower than Watson - won 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in one hour 39 minutes in Mexico.

She was beaten in qualifying but made the main draw as a lucky loser after Danka Kovinic pulled out through inury, while Watson, 28, was seeded fifth. World number 153 Dart, 24, will play Viktoria Kuzmova in round two. The Slovakian world number 104 beat American wildcard Caroline Dolehide 6-3 6-1 in round one.

Evans beaten in Dubai

Dan Evans was seeded 12th in Dubai after reaching the semi-finals in 2020 British number one Dan Evans is out of the Dubai Tennis Championships after a 6-4 4-6 6-4 second-round defeat by Russia's Aslan Karatsev. After losing the first set to the Australian Open semi-finalist, Evans fought back from 4-3 and 40-0 down to take the second.

Karatsev got what proved to be the decisive break in the first game of the final set before serving out the win. He will play Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the last 16. Evans, who was beaten in three sets by Roger Federer in Qatar last week, struggled early on in response to some booming returns of serve by Karatsev.

The 27-year-old Russian broke Evans' serve twice on his way to taking the first set and a straight-sets victory looked likely when he broke twice more at the start of the second. Evans, though, showed resilience to fight back and win four successive games to level the match.

Karatsev, up from 114 to 42 in the world rankings after his performance in Melbourne last month, regained his composure in the decider, breaking serve immediately and saving two break points on his way to victory.

Elsewhere, world number three Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week's Miami Open to prepare for the European clay court season as he bids for a fifth straight French Open title in May.

The Spanish 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played since losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in last month's Australian Open quarter-finals

"Sad to announce that I won't be playing in Miami, a city that I love," said Nadal on social media. "I need to fully recover and get ready for the clay court season in Europe." Britain's Andy Murray has been awarded a wildcard to the event in Miami.


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