Defending champion Watson faces Makarova in Monterrey clash
By Jake Davies
- Heather Watson’s Monterrey title defence continues
- Heather Watson vs Ekaterina Makarova 
MONTERREY, MEXICO – Heather Watson lives to fight another day as she takes on No. 6 seed and wild-card Ekaterina Makarova.
Heather Watson vs Ekaterina Makarova  H2H- First meeting
The Monterrey defending champion Heather Watson came through a serious examination in the first round as she edged Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic to victory. Watson has never really kicked on since that emotional triumph in Monterrey last year and has yet to record back-to-back WTA main draw wins since Miami last year, which really emphasises the slump in results for the former British No.1.
Watson’s next opponent is a very tricky player to face in the early rounds of a WTA event. Makarova applies a difficult left-handed serve and more significantly she has beaten the best players in the world and made the semi-finals at Grand Slam level, so not to be dismissed lightly.
There is quite a lot riding on this match for Watson. The British No.3 currently sits at No.125 in the WTA rankings, which is quite a way away from her career high ranking of World No.38 in 2015. An early exit for Watson in Monterrey could mean that she would have to play the qualification rounds of Roland Garros, which is a difficult situation for the Brit to find herself in. Also on top of that, Watson’s ranking will not be high enough to get into the main draws of some of the bigger WTA events on tour.
I think Makarova will beat Watson. I do not think Watson has the consistency in her game to pull off the upset against a player that historically plays so well on an outdoor hard court.
Prediction: Makarova in two sets
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