Heather Watson makes historic progress

HEATHER Watson became the first British woman to win a main-draw match at the French Open for 17 years last night when she beat Stephanie Foretz Gacon 7-6 (8/6), 6-1.

Victory for the 19-year-old qualifier from Guernsey, ranked No 117 in the world, banished to the history books Clare Wood's 1994 win over Gigi Fernandez. She will face 16th seed Kaia Kanepi in the second round.

Fellow Briton Anne Keothavong was unable to join her, but enjoyed an epic tussle before losing 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to Russia's Vesna Dolonts. Defending champion Francesca Schiavone is the Russian's next opponent after seeing off American Melanie Oudin 6-2, 6-0. Italian Sara Errani trailed American Christina McHale 5-0 in the final set before battling back to win 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 9-7.