Heather Watson wins first match at Japan Open in Osaka

Heather Watson

Heather Watson made an encouraging start to the Japan Open in Osaka with a 6-4 6-4 first-round win over Slovenian Polona Hercog.

The British number two, ranked 71 in the world - 10 places higher than Hercog - carved out 10 break points, converting three of them.

The 20-year-old took the opening set with a single break of serve, and broke twice in the second to close it out.

She next plays Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues or Italian Camila Giorgi.

Medina Garrigues is ranked 40 and seeded sixth in Osaka, while Giorgi is ranked eight places below Watson at 79.

Fellow Briton Laura Robson is the eighth seed in Japan as she continues her bid to break into the world's top-50 for the first time.

The 18-year-old, ranked 56, will play Greek Eleni Daniilidou in her first-round match on Tuesday.

Robson, who won Olympic mixed doubles silver with Andy Murray this summer, has risen from world number 131 in a year and became the first British woman to reach a WTA final since 1990 when she was in September.

She also reached the fourth round of the US Open, before losing to defending champion Samantha Stosur.

Stosur, the top seed in Japan, beat home competitor Erika Sema 6-4 6-2 in her first-round match on Monday.

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