It probably had to end somewhere at Indian Wells, but Heather Watson's progress to the last-sixteen stage was a breath of fresh air for British #Tennis, especially on the women's side. She was finally knocked out of the tournament by the Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, but not before she had demonstrated yet again the talent that she possesses for the game, and the ambition to progress even higher in the sport in the future. Suarez Navarro finally ended her run with a 7-6 3-6 6-1 victory, which will have been a big disappointment to the Guernsey-born woman, after battling past top ten seed Agnieszka Radwanska so impressively in the previous round.
Watson had her chances against Suarez Navarro as well, missing the opportunity to clinch the first set when serving to take it, after moving into a 5-3 lead. Her opponent received treatment for a foot injury and had a noticeable limp during the first set, which may have distracted Watson slightly, as she attempted to complete the job. As the Brit faltered, Suarez Navarro stepped in and forced the tie-break which she took, as errors crept into Watson's game on the crucial points.
Despite the knock back of losing the first set in a close tie-break (7-5), the 22-year-old Britain gamely hung on to her higher ranked opponent and took a highly unpredictable second set, with both players losing their service during its duration, to force the match into a decider. Sadly she was unable to maintain her momentum and fell away in the third set from the fourth game onwards, allowing the Spanish player to close out the match.
With a massive 30 places separating the two players, the defeat was not unexpected, but the positivity from her previous match was clearly still prevalent, during the first two sets against the 13th ranked Spaniard.
Watson's defeat leaves the familiar position of only Andy Murray left in either the men's or women's singles at Indian Wells. She will have been pretty pleased with her efforts though, bagging £40,000 in prize money and a handy 120 ranking points, as she continues her efforts to move up the ranking lists. Her serve looked better than it has recently during the event, which gives her plenty to build upon for the rest of the season.
Suarez Navarro moves on to a last-eight match against Romania's Simona Halep.
There was further disappointment for British tennis fans when Andy Murray and his wild-card partner Thanasi Kokkinakis were knocked out in the second round of the doubles.