By Ros Satar
- Heather Watson comes back to take third set over 32nd seed Caroline Garcia 1-6 6-3 8-6
- Faces Daniela Hantuchova next
- Laura Robson battles hard but falls in straight sets to Evgeniya Rodina 6-4 6-4
Heather Watson sent 32nd seed Caroline Garcia packing as she advanced to the second round at Wimbledon, where she will face Daniela Hantuchova.
After having been effectively owned in the first set on Monday, Watson fought back to level the match before bad light stopped play. They had already been shunted from Court 2 to Court 12, where they had to resume, and it was vital she got off to a quick start.
Neither were giving an inch in the first nine games of the match, as Watson was always serving from behind. She had to battle to save three match points before levelling at 5-5 before breaking the Frenchwoman to love but it is fair to say that nerves kicked in as Watson squandered her chance to serve out the match, with Garcia breaking her straight back. But the Guernsey girl held her nerve to break once more, securing her place in the second round on her second match point.
She admitted, after the match: “I said, No matter what, if she wants this match, she’s going a have to win it, I’m not going to give it to her. I just stuck in there. Before I knew it, it was now my turn to close the match. I had quite a few chances leading up to that point to break in two of her service games. Then I was serving out the match.
“But, you know, it was tense. It was a first‑round match. I’m just pleased that I was able to correct my mistakes the second time, serving out the match. I made sure I made a few more first serves. I think that made the difference.”
While former British No. 1 Laura Robson was unable to join her in the second round, there was a lot to praise, as she played in just her second competitive match after 17 months off the tour.
There is no doubt she has not lost the pure power behind her ground strokes, but there is still a lot to improve. Yet if you compare her performance to her first round in the Eastbourne qualifying rounds, this was a vast improvement.
Robson said: “Compared to the match I played last week, it was infinitely better. There were so many positives from today that I can go back and work on. You know, I was the one hitting winners, but I was the one hitting unforced errors, as well.
“Just in terms of finishing points better, moving better, definitely serving better, it’s all things to work on and things to take into the next few much smaller tournaments.”
Watson has scant rest as she will play her second round match on Wednesday.