Aegon International: British No 1 Heather Watson loses to Madison Keys in semi-finals
Last Updated: 20/06/14 8:27pm
Heather Watson's run in Eastbourne came to an end with a 6-3 6-1 semi-final defeat by rising star Madison Keys at the Aegon International.
Watson was the first British player to contest a last-four match at the tournament since Jo Durie 32 years ago and was looking to make the biggest final of her career.
But she could not cope with the power of 19-year-old Rock Island native Keys, who also won their encounter in the first round of Wimbledon last year.
Watson was still struggling to get over glandular fever at that stage and had high hopes of a different outcome this time but it was not to be as Keys eased to victory.
Kerber is a big fighter and I'm looking forward to this final.
In her first WTA Tour final the American will play fifth seed Angelique Kerber, who battled past Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
"I'm really excited to be playing my first final," said the teenager. "I like grass a lot, I played really well and returned strong.
"A couple of really good games from me and that was the match. Kerber is a big fighter and I'm looking forward to this final."
Despite the loss it has been a hugely positive week for Watson, who secured the first top-20 scalp of her career by beating Flavia Pennetta in round two.
She should see her ranking climb around 10 spots from its current position of 70 ahead of Wimbledon, where she will open her campaign against another talented young player, Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic
Lopez into final
In the men's event, champion Feliciano Lopez will get a second chance in a week to win a grasscourt title on British soil after he beat American Sam Querrey 6-4 7-6(4) to set up a final showdown with Richard Gasquet.
The Spaniard, who was left distraught last Sunday after losing the Queen's Club final to Grigor Dimitrov despite holding a match point, will get a chance to heal his wounded pride at the seaside town of Eastbourne.
Frenchman Gasquet will fancy his chances of stopping Lopez winning back-to-back titles at the Wimbledon warm-up event after easing past Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4 6-2.
After taking the first set Gasquet saved two break points in the first game of the second before romping away with the victory.
The Spaniard is seeking his fourth career title, while his opponent is vying for his 11th.
Meanwhile, Britain's Dominic Inglot was victorious in the men's doubles final as he and American Treat Huey beat Bruno Soares and Alexander Peya.
Inglot and Huey won the first set 7-5 before their opponents won the second by the same scoreline.
The decisive third was a close affair with neither pair able to get clear before Inglot and Huey eventually broke to take the set 10-8 and with it the title.