Wimbledon: Heather Watson charges into fourth round for first time in career | tennisnews

Heather Watson is making her 12th appearance at the Wimbledon Championships

Heather Watson is through to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career after a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 victory over Kaja Juvan.

The Brit worked hard to take the first set and then hit her opponent off the court for much of the second set.

The first time Watson tried to serve the match out she was broken, before steadying her nerves and coming through a lengthy final game, with five deuces to take her first match point.

“Firstly, it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a bit of drama at the end,” the 30-year-old said on court. “Wow, what an atmosphere, there’s nowhere I would rather be playing. You guys got me over the line.

“I’m so happy. Thank you to my team for pushing me through and being with me through thick and thin. Playing here at home, the atmosphere is everything. Please all come back for my fourth round!”

Watson will take on Jule Niemeier next but before that, she will be back on the court on Friday to play doubles with Harriet Dart.

This third-round victory marks a milestone moment in the 30-year-old’s career, having never reached that point at a major previously in singles.

Watson made her singles debut in the Championships back in 2010 and five years later, she served for the match in the third round against Serena Williams.

She was not able to get over the line then and this time on No 1 Court, Watson also found serving for the match to be a challenge.

Match Statistics

Heather Watson Kaj Juvan
two Aces 1
two Double faults 5
58% First serve in % fifty%
74% Win % on first serve 55%
47% Win % on second serve 52%
17/27 net points won 11/23
4/6 Break points won 2/8
31 Winners 27
19 Unforced Errors twenty-one
76 Total points won 62

An even first set was decided by a tie-break, in which Watson needed four set points to take it. After that, the Brit upped her level again while the world No 62 Juvan went missing.

Watson needed no second invitation to punish her and prior to the final few games, she had all the answers. However, at 5-0 down Juvan began to swing freely through the ball again and deny Watson an easy route over the line.

On the big points, Watson found her spots with her first serve and continued to couple superb power from the back with deft lobs and clutch volleys.

An elongated final game put Watson’s team through it, but she eventually created a match point and took it with both hands.

“I wouldn’t still be playing if I thought the ship had sailed,” Watson added afterward. “I’m really happy to be into the second week of a Grand Slam in singles, finally.”

Jabeur was a quarter-finalist at the Championships last year

Jabeur was a quarter-finalist at the Championships last year

Elsewhere in the drawing, Ons Jabeur sent out a message of intent with a 6-2 6-3 win over Diane Parry, which lasted just 68 minutes on Center Court.

The third seed highlighted the variety she has within her game and will take on elise mertens in the fourth round. Mertens overcame the former champion angelique kerber 6-4 7-5.

A match out on Court 2 delivered the shock of the day, as Tatjana Maria beat the fifth seed Maria Sakkar 6-3 7-5.

At 34 years old, Maria is the oldest German female player in the Open Era to reach the fourth round in a Grand Slam tournament.

Maria will take on the 12th seed Jelena Ostapenkowho was the first woman through to the fourth round, after her 3-6 6-1 6-1 defeat over Irina Begu.

Williams makes winning return alongside Murray

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams returned to Grand Slam action and alongside her partner Jamie Murray, thrilled the crowd on No 1 Court on Friday evening.

The pairing’s match had been on the Order of Play with a ‘not before’ start time and no court. Following a swift victory by Carlos Alcaraz, the crowd on No 1 Court were thrilled that the first-round mixed doubles match was announced to be following on.

Williams, now 42 years old, has been involved in just one match since last year’s Wimbledon, but she looked sharp and determined on court next to her doubles partner.

A 6-3 6-7 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Michael Venus and Alicja Rosolska comprised of purposeful returns from the racket of Williams, who had the vision and power to counter Venus’ large serves, and outstanding net play from Murray.

It was three years since their siblings Serena Williams and Andy Murray paired up in SW19 and the second round now awaits.

Last year, Murray had turned Venus down to play in the mixed doubles, as he did not want to overburden a neck injury he was managing so naturally, Venus was pleased to get on court with him this time around.

“I’ve been trying to play with him forever. He plays hard to get,” Williams said with a smile after the match.

“It’s one of the only ones [titles] I haven’t won, so I usually put a little more priority here. It was definitely super last minute. Just inspired by Serena. Like I said, it was amazing. I just was so happy to have so much help today.”

Venus Williams and Jamie Murray showed their pedigree on No 1 Court

Venus Williams and Jamie Murray showed their pedigree on No 1 Court

Williams added: “I had no plan to play but I saw the grass and I got excited. I haven’t played in a year so you don’t know what you’re going to get.

“Practice is so much different from a match. It’s not easy physically or mentally or anything.

“I just not only played a match but won a match. I’m never like that kind of player. I always expect to win. But when I sat there, we wanted to win, but when I sat there at the end, it was real. Yeah I felt something in my heart.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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