Kyle Edmund battled through the qualifying draw at the ATP 250 in Nice, France this week only to fall awkwardly in his first round match against Alexander Zverev towards the end of the second set and be forced to retire. Meanwhile, Heather Watson fell to a three-set defeat against Kateryna Bondarenko in the WTA International in Strasbourg.
— Steven Edmund (@steveemund) May 16, 2016
Watson, whose ranking of #55 in the world had allowed her a direct entry into the main draw in Strasbourg this week, looked to be on the comeback trail against the Ukrainian after dropping the first set 6-3 but responding magnificently, bagelling the world #64 and levelling the match.
However, Bondarenko solidified her first serve in the third set and capitalised on the plethora of break points on offer – 22 in total for both players throughout the match – by taking the final set 6-1 and condemning the Brit to her third first round defeat in four tournaments.
Meanwhile, at the event in Nice, Kyle Edmund, who was seeded 4th in qualifying, came past French wildcard Elliot Benchetrit 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4 – surprisingly losing only his second tiebreak of the year – before a rather more straightforward 6-3 6-4 victory over fifth seed Marco Cecchinato of Italy put him into the main draw and set him up nicely for a young-gun clash with German teenager and eighth seed Alexander Zverev.
The Brit took the first set at the last moment 7-5, and was looking positive and aggressive in the second before a nasty fall in the eighth game of the second set threatened to end the match prematurely. The Brit fought on to the end of the set, which he lost 7-5, before unfortunately being forced to withdraw just as a classic third set encounter loomed.
The injury has been confirmed as not serious, and the Brit will still be fighting fit for Roland Garros next week. We wish Kyle all the best for a speedy recovery.