BRITISH No1 Heather Watson admitted she was guilty of over-thinking her approach to her tussle with America’s Lauren Davis after suffering a straight sets defeat in the opening round of the US Open yesterday.
Watson, 23 places better off in the world rankings than her opponent, crashed out of the tournament 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-0) – a far cry from her last Grand Slam showing at Wimbledon when she gave top seed Serena Williams an almighty scare.
The 23-year-old was crowned junior champion at Flushing Meadows in 2009, but defeat meant that Watson has failed to progress beyond round one in six attempts.
“I was thinking a lot about this match, thinking that it was a big opportunity and about the previous years and my results here. Maybe I thought about that a bit too much,” said world No61 Watson, who suffered with cramp in her hand.
“I felt fine before the match but maybe it was a mix of tension and long rallies mixed together.
“I should have come to the net a lot more than I did. It’s easy looking back now but I didn’t execute my game plan the way I wanted to.”
Last year’s runner-up Kei Nishikori suffered a similar fate in the men’s competition after the fourth seed was dispatched by Frenchman Benoit Paire, losing 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.
“It’s always very sad to lose in the first round, but I think he was playing good tennis so I don’t think I played bad,” said Nishikori, who was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon due to a calf injury. “I didn’t play great, but still, it’s never easy first match. He’s a good player.”
Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic, meanwhile, was beaten 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 by Dominika Ciblukova of Slovakia, while fellow seeded players Karolina Pliskova and Carla Suarez Navarro were also knocked out.