HEATHER WATSON was halted by a net. Sorry, make that Anett.
The British No2 gave the home crowd on No1 Court a few moments to cheer in a 7-5 6-1 defeat by Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.
1 Heather Watson was beaten 7-5 6-1 by 20th seed Anett Kontaveit on Court No1Credit: Reuters
But Watson could not consistently bridge the gulf in class between her and the world No20.
Watson’s first-round victory had been her first at Tour level since last autumn and this match was her first of a tough 2019 against an opponent inside the top 20.
The Guernsey-born player, now ranked No 122, is making her tenth appearance at Wimbledon and was trying to reach the third round in singles for the fourth time.
But it was Kontaveit who won comfortably in the end to make it into the last 32 for the third year in a row.
The Brit could not have made a better start, breaking the Kontaveit serve in an opening game of two double faults and backing it up by holding her own to love.
The Estonian hit back as she began to find her range and take charge of the majority of the rallies. Yet some erratic hitting and double faults kept giving her opponent chances as both women struggled to hold serve.
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Kontaveit twice broke back and although the Brit tried to dig in, she blinked first as she dropped her serve to love to lose the first set.
Watson began the second well enough, with an impressive first service game. But she lost her second and gave Kontaveit sight of the finish line.
The Estonian, coached by Nigel Sears, the father of Andy Murray’s wife Kim, did not look back. Watson had a break point in the final game but Kontaveit sealed victory in an hour and 15 minutes.
Nervous Heather Watson hits ‘table tennis’ serve into floor on HER side of the net in opening game of Wimbledon 2019