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Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Heather Watson exit blamed on school studies

Heather Watson
Watson was the first British girl to win the US Junior Open in 2009

Heather Watson's father has said the young star's dedication to her studies may have cost her a place in the second round of the Australian Junior Open.

The 17-year-old, who was seeded second in the girls' event, fell to a first-round defeat by China's Hao Chen Tang.

With Watson due to graduate from high school in June, her father Ian said tennis has taken a back seat.

He said: "She wants to be an A-grade student so she's been concentrating very much on her academic studies."

Watson's last tournament before the Australian Open was the 2009 Dunlop Orange Bowl in Florida where she was knocked out in the quarter-finals.

"Much of the time since then she's had her head stuck in school books," Ian Watson told BBC Guernsey.

"All I can think is that she's just tournament rusty and unfortunately she couldn't get past the first round in this instance.

"But as usual she'll bounce back and there's a lot for her to learn about the experience."

Watson, who won the girls' singles at the US Open, lost 6-1 4-6 6-1 to China's Hao Chen Tang in Melbourne.

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