Great Britain’s Heather Watson came from a set down to beat former Top 10 player Coco Vandeweghe in Acapulco, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
The British No.2 is competing in the Mexican Open, her first competition since GB’s loss to Slovakia in the Fed Cup, and was able to fight back after going a set down to secure her place in the second round in two hours 31 minutes.
Vandeweghe is currently ranked 193rd in the world after struggling with ankle and foot injuries that forced her to miss out on the first three Grand Slams of 2019.
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Watson was able to turn the tide in the second set after a strong start was extinguished by five aces from Vandeweghe in the first.
The American saved three match points whilst trailing 5-2 in the final set but ultimately was forced to accept the loss as Watson completed her comeback.
“She’s been out with injury. She had nothing to lose,” Watson said in a post-match interview with WTA. “I don’t think she’s playing at her best yet, but today was extremely tough. It was tough conditions. It’s hot out there, and the ball really gets up high.
“I was just pleased with how well I fought. I wasn’t necessarily playing my best either, but I stuck in there. I’m just really enjoying being out there, enjoying my tennis.”
Watson said she was “very pleased” with her performance in the Acapulco heat after having a quick turnaround from her Fed Cup loss to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova two weeks ago. Before this Watson had lost to Belgian player Elise Mertens in the second round of the Australian Open.
“CoCo is such a great player,” Watson said. “She’s been a top player for so long, I’ve known her for so long, and I know how well she can play.
“If I’m honest, I didn’t feel like I had much rest. From the Australian Open, I had a week at home, but then I went straight to the Fed Cup and was there the whole week. Fed Cup is a very high-stress environment, and I feel like I’m just about recovered to be here now.”