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Hercog wins in Istanbul 1st round, Watson retires from match

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — Polona Hercog cruised into the second round of the Istanbul Tennis Championship on Tuesday in the WTA Tour’s return to European clay ahead of the French Open, while Heather Watson retired from her match.

Hercog didn't face a single break point as she beat Turkish wild-card entry Berfu Cengiz 6-2, 6-3. The third-seeded Slovenian will face Italy's Jasmine Paolini in the second round. Earlier, Watson retired from her match in the first round with what organizers said was “dizziness.”

Watson took a medical timeout during the match against Sara Sorribes Tormo and had her temperature taken and her blood pressure measured. The fifth-seeded British player laid on a towel on the side of the court before retiring from the match while trailing 3-2 in the first set. Sorribes Torno helped her carry her bags off the court.

Britain's PA news agency reported that Watson suffered from exhaustion and low blood sugar. Watson has exited in the first round of all four of her tournaments since the tennis season restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic, including a first-round loss to Johanna Konta last week at the U.S. Open.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich saved two match points to eliminate seventh-seeded Zarina Diyas 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Diyas served for the match at 5-2 up in the second set but Sasnovich won nine straight games to win the second set and take a 4-0 lead in the decider. Diyas remains without a win since the Australian Open in January.

The Istanbul tournament was originally scheduled for April.

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