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Watson books spot at French Open

ESPN staff
May 24, 2014 « Murray in talks with next coach | WILL TEST Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Heather Watson won all three of her qualifying matches © Getty Images
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Heather Watson has reached the first round of the French Open by beating Anett Kontaveit 6-1 6-1 in her final qualifying encounter at Roland Garros.

Watson wrapped up victory in 48 minutes to extend her recent winning record to eight matches after triumphing at an ITF event in Prague last weekend. The 22-year-old will now face Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the first round proper.

After the win, Watson said: "Winning is a habit they say. I'm just taking advantage of how much I'm enjoying it, fighting, being healthy and just using that every day to play the best I can."

On Friday, James Ward became the first British male since John Lloyd in 1973 to progress through qualifying to reach the main draw of the French Open.

Ward, 27, edged past Slovenia's Blaz Rola 4-6 6-4 12-10 to match Lloyd's achievement from 41 years ago.

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"It's massive because it's a grand slam," Ward told BBC Sport. "It's the reason you play tennis. It's special."

After dropping the opening set, the Londoner rallied to level the match against the man ranked 75 places above him before saving two match points in an epic decider.

"I was obviously not thinking good thoughts at that point," Ward added, who will face 17th seed Tommy Robredo in the first round. "He stepped up and made a couple of good returns - they weren't really my mistakes - but I dug in and played a couple of good points to get back."

Ward, Britain's No.3 behind Andy Murray and Dan Evans, had previously beaten American Ryan Harrison and Moldovan Radu Albot in the two previous qualifying rounds at Roland Garros.

Fellow Britons Daniel Cox and Johanna Konta failed to reach the third qualifying round, losing 6-3 7-6(4) to Italy's Paolo Lorenzi of Italy and 6-7(5) 7-5 6-0 by Ukrainian Yuliya Beygelzimer respectively.

James Ward saved two match points en route to downing Blaz Rola © Getty Images
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