Indian Wells: Mum’s the word as Watson battles past Voskoboeva

 By Ros Satar

  • Heather Watson def. Galina Voskoboeva 7-6(4) 4-6 6-1
  • Faces Monica Niculescu next

INDIAN WELLS, USA – Heather Watson continued her great run of form with a three set victory over Galina Voskoboeva to advance to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

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Watson spends another week coached by her mum and mum’s the word, just as in Monterrey where she called her on court the two times she was in a three-set battle.

It looked as though Voskoboeva was a little rusty as Watson broke right at the start of the match, but the Kazakh was soon back into the swing of things, playing in her first main draw match in almost two years.

Leading Watson 2-5, it was an almighty fight back from the Brit, who won three games on the spin before Voskoboeva forced a tie-break. Momentum shifted this way, then that, before Watson struck to bring up set point.

Voskoboeva made sure that Watson’s momentum was blunted breaking Watson in the first game of the second set and keeping that advantage, as the Brit pulled her mum onto court for some motherly advice.

Describing her as ‘the calmest member of our family,’ Watson took advantage of the Kazakh’s lack of match sharpness as her unforced errors stacked up while Watson stayed steady for a three-set win.

Speaking on court, Watson said: “It was very tough today. Galina’s coming back from injury and I thought she played very well today and really made me work for it but when it was important I was able to bring out my best tennis and I was very happy with it today.

“I was very happy with my win in Monterrey,” she added. “I think today I was a little slow getting used to the court – it was very different, but I got through and I’m into the next round.”

She ought to feel confident with her chances in the next round – she faces Monica Niculescu for the second time this year, having beaten her in Hobart at the start of the season.

Niculescu of course is the owner of the sabre-like slashing loopy forehand, and it is a fascinating stroke to watch, but one would fancy Watson will be more focused on slashing past that and pushing on to the next round.

That kind of underspin will have Watson scampering around the court but the Brit is not averse to coming to the net herself, so expect to see a lot of court mileage between the two.

Niculescu is the kind of player that will take away any rhythm, so we can expect to see Watson’s mum out on court again as this could easily go to three sets again.

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