Watson continues strong form

Heather Watson continued her encouraging start to 2014 with victory at a second-tier tournament in America.

The 21-year-old's 6-4 6-0 victory over Russia's Ksenia Pervak on Sunday was her ninth singles win in a row dating back to the Australian Open.

Watson was in great form in winning four matches for Great Britain in the Fed Cup last week, and she did not drop a set during her five victories in Midland, Michigan.

Watson made a bad start against Pervak and trailed 4-1 but won 11 straight games to clinch victory in one of the biggest tournaments on the ITF circuit.

The Guernsey player endured a miserable 2013, struggling to win matches as she battled the effects of glandular fever.

But she declared herself back to full health at the end of last year and it has showed in 2014, with Watson looking impressive in qualifying for the main draw at the Australian Open and then losing narrowly to Daniela Hantuchova.

Sunday's victory should lift her around 40 places in the rankings from her current position of 161 and, with few points to defend for the rest of the year, a return to the top 100 may not be too far away.