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Heather Watson suffers yet more Edgbaston disappointment

OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Heather Watson's Wimbledon preparations suffered a setback on Tuesday as she was knocked out of the Aegon Classic first round.

The British No.1 slumped to a 7-6(5) 6-4 defeat to 22-year-old qualifier Aleksandra Krunic, the second year in a row she has crashed out at the opening stage of the Wimbledon warm-up in Birmingham.

The match was Watson's first since losing to American Sloane Stephens in the second round of the French Open in May, having pulled out of last week's Aegon Nottingham Open with an elbow injury.

Watson did manage to draw out proceedings for an hour and 45 minutes, but her Serbian opponent did not face a single break point in a one-sided match.

British hopes took another dent on Tuesday when No.1 seed Simona Halep comfortably beat wildcard entry Naomi Broady in the second round 6-4 6-2 as she continues her run-up to Wimbledon after losing in the semi-finals last year.

Halep was given a bye to the second round while Broady beat Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday.

Elsewhere, Victoria Azarenka beat Varvara Lepchenko 7-6(7) 6-4 and Jelena Jankovic cruised past Tereza Smitkova 6-4 6-4. Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the French Open in 2009, also beat Karin Knapp 7-6(4) 5-7 6-2 and qualifier Timea Babos beat Roberta Vinci 6-2 6-7(7) 7-6(5).