Aegon Classic: Naomi Broady beats Alize Cornet as Heather Watson loses

Broady’s best career win came in January 2016 when she beat world number 16 Ana Ivanovic

British number two Naomi Broady earned one of the best wins of her career by beating France’s Alize Cornet at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

The 27-year-old, who is ranked 111, took her third match point to win 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 against the world number 38.

Cornet, who reached the French Open last 16 earlier this month, won the opening three games before Broady fought back to reach the second round.

Earlier, Heather Watson lost 6-2 5-7 6-3 to world number five Elina Svitolina.

Broady reached a career-high ranking of 76 last year, but has fallen outside the top 100 over the past four months.

However, she showed her battling qualities to fight back for her fifth win against a top-50 ranked player.

“The first two games were really long, I think we had been playing 20 minutes, and I thought ‘stick with it’,” Broady said.

“Then I got my stuff together. I have played lots of tie-breaks recently so I am in tip-top tie-break form.

“It is definitely a big win. I’m fighting to get back inside top 100, hopefully I can get my ranking up before the US Open – that’s my main focus.”

Watson out but pushes Svitolina

Watson was ranked 38th in the world in January 2015

Former British number one Watson has dropped to 126th in the rankings after a difficult season in which she has won just five matches.

But there were signs of encouragement as she pushed Ukraine’s Svitolina to a deciding set.

The 25-year-old from Guernsey made too many errors as Svitolina took the opening set, but recovered in the second to break the French Open quarter-finalist’s serve to lead 6-5.

Watson served out the set confidently, finishing with a forehand winner down the line, only to drop serve in the fourth game of the decider as Svitolina saw out victory.