By Anita Stahl

  • Heather Watson defeats Claire Liu 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
  • Faces Venus Williams [3] in second round
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, USA — Heather Watson began her US Open Series with a first-round victory over American Claire Liu and the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.

 

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Heather Watson def. Claire Liu 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

Heather Watson defeated American wildcard Claire Liu in the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. Watson only played Stanford once prior, in 2012, but the courts and conditions in Norther California appear to suit her:

“I thought about trying something new and I actually hate the weather in Washington, it’s so hot and humid. I love California and I thought I’d give it a go this year.”

Despite taking the win Tuesday, Watson was reflective of what went wrong in the match to take it to three sets:

Claire Liu in the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, WTA San Jose 2018

Claire Liu in the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, WTA San Jose 2018 | Anita Stahl

“I didn’t serve as well I would have liked, I did in the first set, but the second two sets I really felt my percentage drop. But I was just really happy with how I competed, my movement, and how I was striking the ball… I just had to make sure I was ready for that third ball. I was missing a lot at the net and I knew that and I was trying not to and to get more height on it. I was making the same mistake but I still felt good on my serve, on my action and I thought credit to her as well for putting a lot of pressure on my second serve.”

The first serve percentage did indeed have a significant drop, from 67% in the first set, to 50% in the second, and only 43% in the third.

Watson faces Venus Williams in the second round on Thursday. The two have only met once before, in 2014 when Williams defeated Watson 6-3,6-1 in Beijing.

 

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