• Australian Open, Day One

Watson rallies to beat Cadantu

ESPN staff
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Heather Watson © Getty Images
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Heather Watson overcome a fitness scare to rally from a set down to beat Alexandra Cadantu in the first round of the Australian Open.

The Brit looked out of sorts in the first set as her opponent, ranked 41 places below her, powered ahead. Watson had a medical timeout in the second, but she was the stronger player after the break and powered away to claim a 2-6 6-3 6-2 win and a place in the second round in Melbourne for the first time in her career.

Cadantu took a liking to the Watson serve and broke on three occasions in a one-sided opening set. It looked bleak for Watson as she was broken at the start of the second and she called for a medical timeout at the end of the fifth game.

She was given a thorough check, including having her pulse taken, and although looking unsettled she elected to play on.

The break appeared to unsettle Cadantu, who also had the trainer out to look at a leg problem, as Watson broke back immediately and then a love hold put her firmly back in the match.

A second break of serve followed and Watson made it four games on the spin to take the second set.

Watson worked a break of serve at the start of the final set but with Cadantu on the ropes, she lost her focus and the Romanian got the match back on serve.

But a third break of serve on the spin saw Watson nose herself back in front at 3-2 and she saved two break points in the following game to secure a cushion.

Passing up the break points appeared to sap the belief from Cadantu as Watson broke again to lead 5-2 and closed out the match one game later.

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