Watson sharp during qualifying

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Heather Watson is one win away from entering the first round of the Australian Open Heather Watson is one win away from entering the first round of the Australian Open

Heather Watson breezed into the final round of qualifying at the Australian Open without dropping a game.

The British number three took on Stephanie Foretz Gacon and was leading 6-0 2-0 when the Frenchwoman pulled out because of a shoulder problem after only 36 minutes on court.

Watson admitted to experiencing nerves after her first-round victory over Arina Rodionova on Thursday but looked much more at ease.

The 21-year-old has found herself back in grand slam qualifying for the first time since the French Open in 2012 following her struggles with glandular fever last year.

Watson has a lot of ranking points to defend having reached the third round last year but is now only one victory away from a place in the main draw.

In her final qualifier she will meet American Irina Falconi, who was an emphatic 6-2 6-0 winner over Chanel Simmonds in round two.

Watson was delighted with her performance, saying: "I was still very nervous but I controlled it a lot better.

"I knew what I wanted to do in the match. I've played Stephanie a lot of times and they've been long, tough matches.

"I knew it was going to be difficult so I focused more on me and what I wanted to do on the court, and ended up playing really, really well. I was very happy with my serve, my returns, groundstrokes, just everything.

"That's how I want to play. I came in with a different approach. It was nice to get through the first match but now I'm feeling better I want to hit the shots that I've been practising."

Watson is the last remaining British player in qualifying after Johanna Konta was beaten 6-1 6-2 by Olga Savchuk.

It was a big disappointment for the 22-year-old, who only just missed out on an automatic place in the main draw and was seeded third in qualifying.

She had looked in fine form in her first match but could not find the same consistency against experienced Ukrainian Savchuk.

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