Wimbledon: Heather Watson storms into fourth round for first time of her career | tennis news

Heather Watson is playing in her 43rd major tournament and making her first singles fourth round in a major; The 30-year-old next meets Jule Niemeier in singles and will later return to the All England Club to play doubles with Harriet Dart

Last updated: 07/01/22 15:48

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

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

Britain’s Heather Watson is through to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career after beating Kaja Juvan 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

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

When Watson first attempted to finish the match, she was heartbroken before calming her nerves and enduring a long final game of five twos to claim her first match point.

“First of all, I wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a bit of drama at the end,” the 30-year-old said in court. “Wow, what an atmosphere, there is no place I would rather play. You got me over the line

“I’m so happy. Thanks to my team for getting me through and sticking with me through thick and thin. Playing here at home, the atmosphere is everything. Please come back to my fourth round everyone!”

Watson will next face Jule Niemeier in the singles draw, but before that she will be back on the pitch on Friday to play doubles with Harriet Dart.

That third-round win marks a career milestone for the 30-year-old, who had never reached that point in singles at a Major before.

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

She was unable to get over the line then, and this time on the No. 1 court, Watson also found serving for the match was a challenge.

game statistics

Heather Watson Kaya Juvan
2 aces 1
2 Double mistakes 5
58% First premium in % 50%
74% Win % on first serve 55%
47% Gain % on second serve 52%
17/27 net points gained 23.11
4/6 Breakpoints won 2/8
31 winner 27
19 Unforced Errors 21
76 Total points earned 62

An even first set was decided by a tiebreak in which Watson needed four set points to win it. After that, the Brit upped her level again while world No. 62 Juvan disappeared.

Watson didn’t need a second invitation to punish her and she had all the answers going into the last few games. However, down 5-0, Juvan began swinging freely through the ball again, denying Watson an easy run over the line.

In the big points, Watson found her places on her first serve, continuing to combine superb power from behind with skillful lobs and clutch volleys.

A drawn-out final game saw Watson’s team through, but the 30-year-old eventually managed a match point and grabbed it with both hands.

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

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