Tag: Heather Watson

Indian Wells: Watson downs Radwanska to claim biggest win

Heather Watson claimed the biggest win of her career as she beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-4 to move into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Watson had never beaten a top-10 player before and had lost to Radwanska at Indian Wells last year but broke the seventh seed five times on her way to victory in an hour and 33 minutes.

Victory in Hobart in January had given Watson the second title of her career and the world No.43 will now take on either Carla Suarez Navarro or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last-16 in California.

The 22-year-old had not won a set against Radwanska in three previous WTA meetings but broke in the first game on her second break point and then held her save to take a 2-0 lead.

Radwanska held and then broke back but Watson was giving her opponent some serious trouble and once again claimed the advantage on a fourth break point.

The rest of the set went with serve but it was Radwanska who was being made to work the harder and Watson closed out with an ace.

Watson needed just one break point to again take the early advantage in the second set and she then held her serve again although Radwanska won the third game to love.

The Pole seemed to have found some rhythm and just as in the first set broke back for 2-2, although she required three break points to do so.

Radwanska was beginning to build up a head of steam now and eased through her next service game before breaking Watson to make it four games in a row.

The match looked to be swinging Radwanska’s way but Watson halted her momentum by getting back on serve and seeing off two break points for an impressive hold to make it 4-4.

The momentum was now back with Watson and she won the next on a second break point before serving out to love to take the match.

“Aga is a fantastic player,” Watson told BT Sport 2. “I’ve played her quite a few times and she’s beaten me pretty comfortably every single time so I knew I was going to have to bring my A-game and play my very best and that’s what I did.

“The crowd definitely helped me today. I absolutely love it here. What’s not to love? For three years I didn’t win a match here and then last year I won a couple and here I’ve won a few more so hopefully I can keep it going.”

Elsewhere, tenth seed Lucie Safarova was beaten 7-6(5) 7-5 by Elina Svitolina in little under two hours on court.

Read more at ESPN

Tennis: Watson through to second round at Indian Wells

Heather Watson reached the BNP Paribas Open second round at Indian Wells with a nervy win over German Julia Goerges.

Heather Watson secured a nervy 6-4 5-7 6-3 win over Julia Goerges to make it through to the second round at Indian Wells.

Watson served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, before losing five games in a row as Goerges levelled the match.

The German then broke in the decider but Watson rallied to claim victory, setting up a second-round meeting with Camila Giorgi.

It was just British No.1 Watson’s second win since lifting the title in Hobart at the beginning of the year.

“I was definitely a bit nervous today and it showed,” said Watson. “But I found the right way to finish the match.”

Read more at ESPN

Fed Cup: Great Britain beat Ukraine to reach play-offs

Great Britain recovered from the brink of elimination to beat Ukraine and top their Fed Cup qualifying group.

Even though Johanna Konta and Heather Watson won their singles matches, Anna Smith and Jocelyn Rae still had to save a match point to win the one set of doubles they required to go through.

Britain will now contest a Group I play-off against Victoria Azarenka’s Belarus on Saturday in Budapest.

The winners will progress to the 16-team World Group II play-offs in April.

Following their defeat by Turkey on Thursday, GB needed to beat Ukraine convincingly to advance.

World number 145 Konta, 23, beat Lesia Tsurenko – a player ranked 53 places above her – 6-3 6-2, before British number one Watson, 22, fought back from a set down to defeat Elina Svitolina 2-6 7-5 6-4.

Smith, 26, and Rae, 23, lost the first set of their doubles contest on a tie-break and saved a match point that would have eliminated Judy Murray’s squad before sealing the tie 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 6-4.

“There were so many epic points,” said Smith. “I just remember running a lot. We just showed guts and determination to pull through.”

Rae added: “This level is a bit new to us so the fact that we pulled through is positive. It was a massive team effort.”

Murray paid tribute to her team for bouncing back from the blow of the Turkey reverse.

“It was an amazing day today,” she said.

“We had such a disappointing day yesterday and everyone was very flat leaving the courts. But we managed to turn it around.

“It really was a fantastic performance form the girls and sets us up nicely for the play-off tomorrow and we will throw the kitchen sink at it.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Fed Cup: Great Britain fall to impressive Turkey in Fed Cup

A shock 2-1 defeat to Turkey in Budapest left Great Britain’s women needing a victory against group favourites Ukraine in order to progress to the next stage of the Fed Cup.

Johanna Konta was beaten 6-3 7-6(6) by Ipek Soylu, who isn’t ranked in the world’s top 300, while Heather Watson lost her high-pressure match against Cagla Buyukakcay, who is ranked 79 places beneath her.

Having strolled through her encounter with Lichtenstein on Wednesday, Konta came into the tie on good form and started well by breaking Soylu but ended up capitulating at the end of the second set as she lost four tie-break points in a row.

Watson, who started as poorly as Konta finished, was 4-0 down to Buyukakcy and couldn’t arrest the momentum until finally breaking back in the second. However, she was immediately broken back and succumbed to the in-form Buyukakcay, who had beaten world No. 26 Elina Svitolina on Wednesday.

A strong performance from doubles pair Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith gave Great Britain a potentially crucial point in the third and final tie against Turkey, but the team still need to beat Ukraine and hope that Turkey defeat Lichtenstein if they are to progress to the third round.

Read more at ESPN

Australian Open: Serena Williams & Novak Djokovic into third round

Serena Williams reached the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Russia’s Vera Zvonareva.

The American top seed, 33, came through a tight first set to win 7-5 6-0 as the temperature reached 33C in Melbourne.

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka defeated eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2.

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic thrashed Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0 6-1 6-4 and defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Marius Copil 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.


Battle of the former number ones

Victoria Azarenka was back to form after an injury-blighted season as she beat eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki.

After overcoming her fellow former world number one, the Belarusian will play Czech 26th seed Barbora Zahlavova in the third round.

There was no missing Azarenka, in bright yellow, as she dictated play from the baseline and wrapped up victory in 98 minutes.

The 2012 and 2013 champion broke the Dane twice in the second set and clobbered 31 winners in the match.

Williams sisters roll back the years

Serena and Venus Williams are back in round three of the Australian Open, 17 years after their first visit to Melbourne.

Venus, 34, beat Lauren Davis 6-2 6-3 to ensure both sisters will be involved in the last 32 on Saturday.

The pair first played at Melbourne Park in 1998, with Venus beating Serena in the second round.

“I just remember what a tough match [it was],” Venus said. “It was just relentless. I think it finally ended with a break in the third. That’s all I can remember.

“It was very tough I think for both of us. Neither one of us could get the upper edge. It was just a marathon.”

Watson progress in doubles

Heather Watson was back on court – the same court – 48 hours after losing in the singles, and requiring treatment from the doctor.

The British number one said on Tuesday she had struggled for energy but that she expected the issue to pass quickly, and so it appeared on Thursday.

Watson and her Russian partner Alexandra Panova, who held two match points against Maria Sharapova on Wednesday, fought through to round two of the doubles.

With the temperature nudging 34C, the pair led Shahar Peer and Annika Beck 2-6 7-5 3-1 on court 10 when the Israeli-German team retired.

Read more at BBC Sport

Australian Open 2015: Watson, Ward and Edmund all out

Britain’s players suffered a disappointing day two at the Australian Open as Heather Watson, James Ward and Kyle Edmund all lost.

Ward, the British number two, came closest to victory but went down 2-6 6-0 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

British number one Watson struggled with illness in a 6-4 6-0 loss to Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova.

Also in round one, Edmund lost 6-4 6-4 6-3 to American Steve Johnson.

Andy Murray is the sole British representative left in round two of the singles draws after beating India’s Yuki Bhambri in straight sets on Monday.

Ward, 27, had his chances on a blustery court seven when he led by a break in the third set and then had a set point in the tie-break.

After two similarly one-sided opening sets it was the closing stages of the third that proved decisive as Verdasco, the 31st seed and a former semi-finalist in Melbourne, recovered the break and served his way out of danger in the tie-break.

A dispirited Ward thumped a forehand long to drop serve at the start of the fourth and although he fought hard to recover, the Londoner could not convert the one break-back point that came his way.

“It’s come down to one or two points,” said Ward. “It was tough but I thought I played well.

“Of course if I’d held two more times in the third I’ve won the set but it was tough conditions out there, very windy. We both played well. Even in the tie-break I gave myself a chance.”

Ward will now head back to London where he will attend the funeral of his grandmother, who passed away recently.

“I don’t want to make excuses but it’s difficult. We’re a very close family and it was a bit of a shock,” he added.

Ward became the third British player to fall in a matter of hours afterWatson had succumbed to Pironkova , and a recurring ailment that saps her energy.

The British number one required treatment from the doctor in the first set on court 10 and lost the last seven games.

“It’s really frustrating,” said the 22-year-old, who still plans to play doubles in Melbourne.

“I woke up this morning in sweats. I don’t always feel good every day but not this bad. It usually lasts literally one or two days.”

Over on court 22, Edmund faced a man ranked 154 places higher at 38 in the world, and the gap in class and experience told.

Edmund, 20, had broken new ground by coming through three rounds to qualify for a Slam but made little impact on Johnson’s impressive serve.

One break was enough for the 25-year-old American in each of the first two sets and two more followed as he clinically saw out the third.

“There wasn’t a lot of rhythm due to the fact that he was serving really well,” said Yorkshireman Edmund.

“It’s just something I have to take away, work on and use as a stepping stone to get better.

“To qualify, win three matches and play my first round is a good experience. Looking back on it, it’s still been a good week.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Tennis: Watson storms to Hobart title

Heather Watson has become the first British woman since Anne Hobbs in 1985 to win two WTA Tour titles after she beat Madison Brengle 6-3 6-4 in the Hobart International final.

Watson, who won her maiden title in Japan a little more than two years ago, recovered from 3-1 down in the first set against the American qualifier to complete an ideal week of preparation for the Australian Open, which gets under way on Monday.

The result means Watson is up to a career-high world No.38.

“Thanks to my coach Diego, its been great working with you,” she said afterwards. “We work really hard but we also have fun.”

Watson now heads to Melbourne for the year’s first grand slam, where she will play Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova on Tuesday.

Watson will be Britain’s only female representative in Melbourne – and there was mixed news from men’s qualifying as Kyle Edmund made his grand slam in dramatic fashion, while Liam Broady fell at the final hurdle.


Read more at ESPN

Tennis: Watson beats Riske and rain to reach Hobart final

Heather Watson is one win away from her second WTA title after reaching the final at the Hobart International with a straight-sets victory over Alison Riske.

The British No.1 and Riske, who at No.42 is ranked seven places above Watson in the world standings, were forced off the court at Domain Tennis Centre in Tasmania six times due to rain – including once at match point.

But Watson eventually prevailed 6-3 7-5 to advance to the final, where she will play another American, Madison Brengle, who beat Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-4 1-6 6-3.

“I’m very happy to finally get through today,” Watson told reporters. “It was tough.

“It’s definitely not great conditions to play tennis and it was never going to be a very pretty match. The goal for Alison and me today was just to get the ball in and not go for free points.”

Watson recovered from 3-1 down in the opening set to win the next five games and also came back from the same deficit in the second.

Then, leading 5-4, Watson let her first two match points slip but had just set up a third when heavy rain forced the players off once again.

The delay lasted an hour and it was hardly surprising that Watson served a double fault when play eventually resumed. She followed that by losing the next two points and her serve.

But the 22-year-old promptly broke Riske’s serve to lead 6-5 and this time served out for a place in Saturday’s final against former leading junior Brengle, who is up to a career-high world No.84.

Asked about the rain delay at match point, Watson added: “I obviously wanted to play but the point before I had slipped myself, so it was the right thing to do.”

Watson will be looking to add to her first WTA victory, which she picked up in Japan two years ago.

Read more at ESPN

Hobart International: In-form Watson through to Hobart quarter-finals

Heather Watson continued her recent spell of good form with a straight sets victory against Sloane Stephens to reach the last eight at the Hobart International.

Watson prevailed with a 6-3 6-1 triumph in little over an hour on court and now faces Roberta Vinci in the quarter-finals.

“This is how I want to play consistently,” Watson said after her victory. “I’m feeling good, confident and very comfortable coming to the net.”

Watson has been in fine form the Australian Open, which begins on January 19, fast approaching. The Briton comfortably beat Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets in the opening round to set up her clash with Stephens.

Last week, Watson partnered Andy Murray as Great Britain beat Australia 3-0 in their final Hopman Cup fixture. However, Team GB were pipped to the final by Poland, who then went on to beat United States for the title.

Read more at ESPN

Tennis: Andy Murray & Heather Watson of GB lose in Hopman Cup to Poland

Andy Murray and Heather Watson suffered mixed doubles defeat as Great Britain lost 2-1 to Poland in the Hopman Cup.

Watson, 22, lost the opening rubber 6-3 6-1 to Agnieszka Radwanska, but Murray, 27, levelled the tie with a 6-2 6-4 win over Jerzy Janowicz in Perth.

But the British duo lost the mixed doubles 6-4 6-4 as Group B leaders Poland remained undefeated.

Britain will play Australia on Friday, with only the group winners reaching Saturday’s final.

Poland, who are the only team in the group not to lose, will qualify for the final if they beat France on Friday.

The format guarantees all the players at least three singles matches as they prepare for the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on 19 January.

Read more at BBC Sport