Watson into Miami Open round four

Heather Watson

Watson’s performance is set to see her world ranking of 69 rise

Britain’s Heather Watson battled back from a set down to reach the fourth round of the Miami Open.

Watson beat the Belgian world number 47 Yanina Wickmayer 3-6 7-5 6-3 and next faces fifth seed Simona Halep.

The British number two saved five break points across her final two service games in the second set to level the match and took control in the decider.

But Aljaz Bedene was forced to retire against 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut with a wrist injury.

“I felt it last week in Dallas,” said Bedene, who had his appeal to represent Britain in the Davis Cup rejected on Wednesday.

“I hope it’s because of the heavy conditions. And obviously the mental part has a lot to do with it. I’m hoping all this nonsense I went through had something to do with the wrist.”

Jamie Murray missed the chance to become world doubles number one when he and partner Bruno Soares lost 10-7 in their third-set doubles tie-break against Raven Klaassen of South Africa and India’s Rajeev Ram.

Murray and Soares, the third seeds in Miami, took the first set 6-3 only for Klaasen and Ram to win the second by the same scoreline.

Andy Murray plays Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan later on Saturday.

Watson won a high-quality contest against Wickmayer on Court Seven, with conditions so testing the players required a change of clothing before the final set.

“We actually went to the porta-potties – that’s where the referees took us – and we both had to get changed in there because we were just drenched,” said the Briton.

And on a day when Rafael Nadal had to retire because of the extreme conditions, Watson was back out for a doubles match late in the day.

“I’ve surprised myself,” she said afterwards. “I’m actually feeling fine right now, but when I get to my hotel and lie down for a second, I’m probably going to pass out!”

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