'Burnt out' Watson beaten in Miami
British No. 1 Heather Watson has lost in the first round of the Sony Open in Miami after being beaten by Ayumi Morita.
The 20-year-old from Guernsey had made a brilliant start to the encounter, storming to the opening set 6-1, but was unable to press home her advantage as Japan's Morita came roaring back to win the second set 7-5 and the deciding one 6-4.
Watson was in total control in the encounter after dropping only one game in the first set, and it looked as though she was going to fly into the second round. However, after being 4-1 up in the second set, Watson blew her lead and eventually her chances of winning the match as Morita sealed victory in three sets.
"It really hurts, I think I just need to find myself, find my game again," a disappointed Watson said after the loss.
"I was playing really well, probably the best I've played this year, and I think I lost my concentration a bit, but that was enough for her to gain some confidence and step forward, and it kind of pushed me back and I started to play a lot worse. I still tried to fight but it just wasn't good enough, I wasn't aggressive enough."
She also announced she will be taking some time out from the game.
"This year I've been going a bit too long so I'm a bit burnt out," Watson said. "I've been thinking about it for a while now and I'm definitely going to take a break from tennis."
The defeat for Watson means she has now suffered back-to-back first round losses at the WTA premier events after falling to Irina-Camelia Begu at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells at the beginning of the month, and has failed to win a match since reaching a career-high 39 in the world rankings in February.