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Heather Watson knocked out of Monterrey Open; Ashleigh Barty withdraws from Indian Wells and Miami Open

Plus: Women's World No 1 Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from Indian Wells and the Miami Open as she continues her recovery after winning the Australian Open; Yuriko Miyazaki has switched nationality from Japan to Britain

Heather Watson of Britain
Image: Heather Watson crashed out of the Monterrey Open

Heather Watson was knocked out of the Monterrey Open on Thursday as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in the round of 16 in Mexico. 

The Brit was beaten 6-4 7-6 (7-2) to the Spaniard having opened her campaign with a 6-3 2-6 7-6 (7-4) victory over Jule Niemeier.

Watson was also eliminated in the quarter-finals of the doubles after she and Egyptian partner Mayar Sherif lost 6-4 2-6 6-10 to American duo Sabrina Santamaria and Catherine Harrison.

Elsewhere, Ukraine's Elina Svitolina overcame Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova 7-6 (7-3) 3-6 6-2 in two hours and 24 minutes having reeled off the final six games after finding herself 2-0 down in the third and deciding set.

The 2020 Monterrey champion noted how the presence of a Ukrainian flag in the crowd drove her on as her home country continues to fight against the Russian invasion.

"It was an extremely tough match today," Svitolina said in her post-match interview. "I think Viktoriya played a really good match, and I had to really fight back in the third set to bring back my best game and try to come back in the match.

"In the end, I managed to win six games in a row, so it's a good effort for me. It was an extremely tough first set, second set didn't go my way, and then the third set I was 0-2 down. I was not playing my best, but I was fighting, until the very end.

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"And you know, the Ukrainian flag really helped me today to fight. I was really fighting until the end, and I found my game in the end."

Maria Bouzkova meanwhile beat Petra Martic 6-4 6-2, and Qiang Wang saw off Watson's doubles partner Sherif 6-0 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.

Barty pulls out of Indian Wells and Miami

ASHLEIGH BARTY (AUS) poses with the trophy after defeating 27th seed DANIELLE COLLINS (USA) on Rod Laver Arena in the Women's Singles Final match on day 13 of the 2022 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. Sydney Low/Cal Sport Media. Barty won 6:3 7:6(Credit Image: © Sydney Low/CSM via ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
Image: Ash Barty won the Australian Open

World No 1 and recently-crowned Australian Open champion Ash Barty has confirmed she has withdrawn from the upcoming Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments as she continues to recover on the back of victory in Melbourne.

Barty, the first Australian woman to win a singles title at the Australian Open in 44 years, hopes to be ready to feature for her nation against Slovakia in the Billie Jean King Cup on April 15.

"Unfortunately my body has not recovered the way I'd hoped after the Australian Open and I have not been able to adequately prepare for Indian Wells and Miami," she said.

"I don't believe I am at the level necessary to win these events and as a result I have decided to withdraw from both tournaments. I love these events and am sad not to be there competing but getting my body right must be my focus.

"My aim is to represent my country at the upcoming Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup event in April.

"After missing the BJK Cup last year I can't wait to wear the green and gold again."

Barty's fellow Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins has also pulled out of Indiana Wells due to injury.

ITF star Miyazaki switches allegiance from Japan

Yuriko Mayazaki walks off the court after victory in the Women's Doubles Final between Emily Appleton & Yuriko Miyazaki and Naomi Broady & Samantha Murray Sharan on Day Four of The British Tour at National Tennis Centre on July 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images for LTA)
Image: Yuriko Mayazaki is eligible to play in the Billie Jean King Cup if selected

Britain has gained a top-250 player with Yuriko Miyazaki switching nationality from Japan.

Known as Lily, the 26-year-old, who is currently at a career-high ranking of 206, was born in Tokyo but has lived in London with her family for the last 16 years.

She has been a regular competitor in British competitions since the age of 11 and acts as a sparring partner for British players at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

Miyazaki spent five years at college in the United States from 2014 to 2019 but has since played full-time on the tour.

Her switch has been approved by the International Tennis Federation and she is eligible to play in the Billie Jean King Cup if selected.

Miyazaki, who has won four singles titles on the second-tier ITF Tour, becomes the British No 6.

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