Heather Watson booked her place in the first round of the Australian Open with a level-headed victory over American Irina Falconi.

Watson, who became the first British woman to win a WTA title since the 1990s in 2012, dropped to 120th in the world rankings after a year ruined by glandular fever.

One highlight came in January though as she battled through to the Third Round of the Australian Open.

However, Watson had been in the Top 40 in her career and the 21-year-old will be determined to at least keep the ranking points she acquired by making the third round last year, and will be hoping to do even better this time round.

Her qualifier against Falconi was an incredibly tense affair, however, she managed to win in straight sets 6-1 7-6 and will face world number 31 Daniela Hantuchova on Monday.  

A qualifying loss would have lost her a huge number of ranking points and she was obviously relieved not to have fallen down the pecking order even further.

"It would have been the end of the world if I didn't get through," She said.

"I'm very happy that I am through but this is where it starts,

"I've just got over that first hurdle and there's a long way to go yet."

Watson said of the match itself; "It was a very tricky match, she's not your usual WTA player. She slices a lot, she's got good hands, good touch, she's not the overpowering type.

"I was prepared for it but I was torn between, 'Do I go for it, or do I make her play?'

"I was finding it difficult to find the balance but I held my nerve at the end - at the very end!

"I got a bit nervous closing it out but it's last round of qualifying; there's a lot on that match."

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#Heather Watson
#Tennis
#Australian Open