Watson misses out on final berth
3:52pm Friday 20th June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Heather Watson's run in Eastbourne came to an end with a semi-final defeat by rising star Madison Keys at the Aegon International.
Watson was the first British player to contest a last-four match at the tournament since Jo Durie 32 years ago and was looking to make the biggest final of her career.
But she could not cope with the power of 19-year-old Keys, who also won their encounter in the first round of Wimbledon last year.
Watson was still struggling to get over glandular fever at that stage and had high hopes of a different outcome this time but it was not to be as Keys eased to a 6-3 6-1 victory.
In her first WTA Tour final, the American will play fifth seed Angelique Kerber, who battled past Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-6 (7/3) 6-3.
Despite the loss it has been a hugely positive week for Watson, who secured the first top-20 scalp of her career by beating Flavia Pennetta in round two.
She should see her ranking climb around 10 spots from its current position of 70 ahead of Wimbledon, where she will open her campaign against another talented young player, Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Top seed Richard Gasquet booked his place in the final of the men's competition by beating Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in the first semi-final.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, who easily saw off Martin Klizan in the quarter-finals, was in dominant form once again as he easily dispatched Istomin 6-4 6-2.
The second semi-final was a slightly closer affair, with Sam Querrey and Feliciano Lopez locking horns.
Lopez emerged victorious, also in straight sets, overcoming American Querrey 6-4 7-6 (7/4).
The Spaniard is seeking his fourth career title, while his opponent is vying for his 11th.
Meanwhile, Britain's Dominic Inglot was victorious in the men's doubles final as he and American Treat Huey beat Bruno Soares and Alexander Peya.
Inglot and Huey won the first set 7-5 before their opponents won the second by the same scoreline. The decisive third was a close affair with neither pair able to get clear before Inglot and Huey eventually broke to take the set 10-8 and with it the title.