By Ros Satar, in Paris

  • Heather Watson v Oceane Dodin
  • First meeting
  • Watson look for first Slam win since reaching the third round at Wimbledon last year
PARIS, FRANCE – Will the terre battue give British No. 2 Heather Watson some respite from a spate of losses as she opens her Roland Garros 2018 account?

 

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Heather Watson v Oceane Dodin | First Meeting

Perhaps somewhat beleaguered British No. 2 Heather Watson will look to grab just a second win in as many tournaments when she takes on the home-crowd favourite Oceane Dodin in the first round of the French Open 2018.

Watson managed to snap an eight-match losing streak (10 if you counted Fed Cup as well) in Nurnberg with a hard fought battle in the first round, but went out in the next round. What she did well in that win was to fight to the bitter end, with seven match points on the line.

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She will need every scrap of that tenacity to find a way past the flat, hard-hitting Frenchwoman. What Watson does have in her favour is ability to switch her game from the more aggressive that she has been cultivating to get a little more pep to her game, to the more defensive.

Watson is a natural defender and has good variation to her shots so if she can drag Dodin off the baseline, she could find herself taking the upper-hand. What she needs is the confidence to believe in her game once again.

This will be no easy task, as we saw in Nurnberg. What Watson needs is the sharpness that comes with finishing on top of long hard fought battles. We do not begrudge the rollercoasters – so long as we don’t pitched out head first from the car on the way round.

We will give Watson the benefit of the doubt, but strap in and keep your hands inside the car at all times.

Prediction: Watson in three sets.

 

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