French Open: Heather Watson outclassed by Kaia Kanepi
- Roland Garros, Paris
- 22 May-5 June
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Heather Watson's impressive run at the French Open was ended by 16th seed Kaia Kanepi, who outclassed her 6-1 6-3 in a one-sided second-round match.
The British number three, who came through qualifying at Roland Garros, struggled to cope with the big-hitting Estonian, who triumphed in 71 minutes.
Watson, 19, tried to go toe-to-toe with her powerful opponent but did not have the consistency from the baseline.
Kanepi plays Sweden's Johanna Larsson or Russia's Ekaterina Makarova next.
Watson's defeat followed that of Elena Baltacha earlier on Thursday, ending hopes of seeing a first British woman reach the third round in Paris since Jo Durie in 1992.
The Guernsey-born teenager was in uncharted territory, having never progressed beyond the first round at a Grand Slam, and the gulf in class between her and Kanepi, a quarter-finalist at the French Open in 2008 and Wimbledon in 2010, was apparent from the outset.
Kanepi broke her serve at the first attempt and, although Watson did hold next time round, that was the only game she picked up in a first set that lasted 30 minutes and in which she was broken three times.
Watson's inital approach was to try to match 25-year-old Kanepi from the baseline but, despite hitting some impressive individual shots, she made too many errors to enjoy anything but sporadic success.
Only at the start of the second set did Watson begin to string some points together, and she brought some errors out of Kanepi when she began mixing up the spin and length of her shots.
Kanepi remained in control, however, and broke to go 4-2 ahead, while Watson's only real opportunity came and went in the next game when she wasted her only two break points of the match by hitting the first long and then managing only a weak return on the second.
Watson did not go down without a fight, forcing Kanepi to serve out for the match, but Estonian despatched a backhand winner down the line to complete her victory.
The match was a huge learning curve for Watson, but she can still leave Paris satisfied with her achievements, having ensured she will rise into the world's top 100 through her run in the past week.
"I came out very flat today and was making a lot of errors but Kanepi played very well, she's a big hitter, hits lots of winners, and I can't come onto the court not on form," said Watson.
"When I have a little opportunity I have to take it and just get fitter and stronger, but I feel like I've had a good couple of weeks and I'm very confident, and now on to the grass.
Asked whether she felt she could compete with the likes of Kanepi in the future, she added: "Definitely.
"If I would have come on more consistent today and won those points when I needed to, I feel like I could have really competed hard with her and been up with her, which is good because I need to know that in my head - to believe I'm going to make it - otherwise there's no chance for me."