Heather Watson and Katie Boulter take another step towards US Open main draw

British duo Heather Watson and Katie Boulter took a closer step towards the US Open main draw with routine victories in the first round of qualifying.

Watson beat Marina Melnikova 6-1 6-0 in 50 minutes on Court 10 and compatriot Boulter was on the same court for only a little while longer during a straight-sets victory over Fiona Ferro. 

The pair both lost in the first round at Flushing Meadows last year but entered the final major of 2022 in good form after excellent runs at Wimbledon.

Watson had faced Melnikova in Qatar earlier this year and lost in straight sets but broke her opponent five times during a one-sided contest.

After the Russian held her first service game, Watson proceeded to win 11 games in a row to move two victories away from appearing in the US Open main draw for an 11th time.

Boulter was up on Court 10 immediately after and moved into an early four-love lead before Ferro avoided a first-set bagel.

It could not stop the world number 129 taking the opener and despite twice failing to serve out for the match, Boulter regrouped to break Ferro for a sixth time and secure a 6-2 6-3 win in one hour and 15 minutes.

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