Heather Watson was knocked out of the AEGON International.
Watson, British No. 3, received a wildcard through to the Devonshire Park tournament and breezed past Greta Arn in the first round yesterday.
But her second round opponent, seventh-seed Czech Lucie Safarova, proved too strong in a straight-sets triumph.
Safarova gained the early initiative as she broke Watson in the first game, but the Brit then broke back to make it 2-2.
The next two went to serve before both Safarova and Watson claimed two in a row to make it 5-5.
Watson made it 6-5, and grafted a well-earned point at 15-0 before losing the game, leaving the set level once again.
She led 4-1 in the tie break but surrendered it as Safarova won 7-5 to take the set 7-6.
Watson believes this kind of tie break lead can be deceptive. She said, “When you’re out there playing, it’s very difficult. I’ve come back from being down and out, and it happens the other way too. So it was tough.”
The British No. 3, from Guernsey, came out fighting in the second set and broke Safarova’s serve to lead 1-0, but the Czech claimed the next six for a deserved victory.
Watson admitted she didn’t serve well. She said, “After the tiebreak my game fell, and I lost focus on it.
Watson heads to Wimbledon next week still smiling.