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» Britain's Heather Watson is dumped out of opening round in Charleston
Britain's Heather Watson is dumped out of opening round in Charleston
Heather Watson fell to a seventh-straight defeat as she tumbled out of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston to American Taylor Townsend.
The British No 2 has suffered early exits at every tournament since her run to the semi-finals of the Hobart International in January.
Townsend, 21, capitalised on a tentative display from Watson to secure a 6-3 6-4 victory in the first event of the clay-court season.
Both players looked nervy in the opening stages with the first seven games going against serve.
Townsend eventually managed to cling on to her serve to move into a 5-3 lead before breaking again to take an error-ridden first set.
Watson, ranked 47 places above her opponent at 71, finally held at the seventh attempt and went 4-2 ahead in the second set.
But the 25-year-old's serve crumbled again and Townsend won the next four games to wrap up the victory.
continued her recent good form as she beat Jennifer Brady to advance to the second round.
The Japanese won the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells last month and, on the day she reached a career-high of 21st in the world rankings, the 10th seed defeated American Brady 6-4 6-4.
She will next face German
, a 7-5 6-2 winner over Natalia Vikhlyantseva.
beat American Francesca Di Lorenzo 7-5 6-1 and she will next face British No 1
Meanwhile, in Monterrey, third seed
extended her winning streak in a hard-fought victory over Nao Hibino at the Abierto GNP Seguros.
Tsurenko, who has now won 11 in a row, went to three sets to overcome Hibino 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-4 in two and a half hours, while second seed
brushed aside Risa Ozaki 6-4 6-3.
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