Eastbourne: Heather Watson loses semi-final to Madison Keys

Watson loses to Keyes at Eastbourne

American teenager Madison Keys ended Heather Watson's hopes of a first Eastbourne title with a convincing win in their semi-final.

Keys, 19, had the edge in power as she won 6-3 6-1 at the Aegon International.

Watson had been the first Briton to reach the last four in Eastbourne since Jo Durie in 1982.

She will now head to Wimbledon, where she takes on Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round on Tuesday.

"I feel that of all the WTA matches I have ever played, ITF, pro, anything, I think today was against my toughest opponent ever," said Watson. "I think she played really, really well, with a massive serve and massive groundstrokes.

"I tried to hang in there at the beginning, had a few chances in the games early on, but wasn't able to convert. She just played too well for me today."

Keys goes on to face Angelique Kerber in the Eastbourne final on Saturday, after the German beat Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Eastbourne: Angelique Kerber into final with Caroline Wozniacki win

Hopes of a home finalist were dashed in an impressive 61-minute display by the American, who is through to her first tour final.

"I'm really excited," Keys told BBC Sport. "I definitely like grass. I think I was serving really well, just returned a couple of good games and that was kind of the match."

Keys had won her only previous match against Watson in straight sets at Wimbledon last year, and again her extra weight of shot proved the difference.

Watson, 22, was on her way back from glandular fever 12 months ago and went into Friday's rematch in much better form, but the result was the same.

An early break was enough for Keys to take the first set and she attacked the Watson second serve to reel off five straight points and break from 0-40 down early in the second.

Watson had a chance to hit straight back but Keys served superbly when facing 0-40 herself, successive aces snuffing out the danger.

Istomin recovers from slip to win point

The remaining games raced past as Keys wrapped up the victory with another fizzing return that Watson could only send into the net.

Top-seeded Richard Gasquet reached the final of the men's tournament with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 win over Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

The Frenchman will play defending champion Feliciano Lopez after the Spaniard, who lost the Queen's final last week, beat American Sam Querrey 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the second semi-final.

Britain's Dom Inglot and Treat Huey of the Philippines beat top seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 7-5 5-7 10-8 to win the men's doubles final.

Former world number one Martina Hingis, 33, is through to the women's doubles final with Flavia Pennetta.

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