By Jake Davies
- Heather Watson defeats Anett Kontaveit  6-4, 6-4
- The British No.2 faces No.5 seed Elise Mertens in first quarter-final since Eastbourne
- Naomi Broady [LL] defeats Sabine Lisicki [WC] 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
- Faces Monica Puig
LUXEMBOURG – Two British players have made it through to the Last 8 of the Luxembourg Open for the first time since the Aegon International in Eastbourne.
Heather Watson def. Anett Kontaveit  6-4, 6-4
Heather Watson had been suffering throughout the US hard-court swing with a niggling shoulder injury, but the British No.2 made a great effort to end the 2017 season in the right manner as she upset No.3 seed Anett Kontaveit in straight-sets in the Luxembourg Open second-round.
Watson took home the first set with a fantastic forehand winner and continued playing at a high level to break in the second set, but her Estonian opponent broke back for 3-3, before Watson retook the break lead for *4-3. The Brit served out the match comfortably as she scored her biggest win since Wimbledon in terms of the ranking of her opponent.
Heather Watson vs Elise Mertens  H2H: First meeting
You could argue that the challenge for Watson in the quarter-final is an even greater challenge. Belgium’s Elise Mertens has done a lot of winning in 2017 and is one of the breakthrough stars of this season, winning her maiden WTA title in Hobart and impressing herself by beating four Top-100 players en route to that title. Now, Mertens is beating Top 20 players and looks a force to be reckoned with for the 2018 season, having risen 86 places in the WTA rankings in the space of a year.
I think the key is for Watson to remain positive in regards to how she approaches this match. Play with no regrets and make sure the match is on her terms. Mertens is not the most powerful player on tour, but she hits consistently with depth to set up her next move and her next shot on the court.
Prediction: Mertens in three sets
Naomi Broady [LL] defeats Sabine Lisicki [WC] 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
Naomi Broady looked like she was staring in the jaws of defeat as she faced two match points and was a set and 3-5 down to Sabine Lisicki, but the British No.3 found a way to win and made the use out of the lucky loser spot she had been given in the main draw.
The Brit was in deep trouble, but she kept her hopes alive by breaking her opponent’s serve twice in succession to win the second set.
Broady’s level improved when it looked like all was lost. From 3-5 down, Broady reeled off seven games in a row and looked impenetrable on serve from that moment on.
Lisicki may not be the same player that blasted her way into the Wimbledon final in 2013, but this is a seriously impressive win for the British No.3, who seems to bring her best tennis in an indoor setting and now will compete in her first WTA quarter-final since February 2016.
Naomi Broady [LL] vs Monica Puig H2H: Puig leads 2-1
Broady’s luck might run out in her next match as she faces Olympic gold medal winner Monica Puig. Puig has been finding the lines, sticking to her aggressive style of play and striking her way out of difficult positions throughout the week. We saw that against former World No.1 Angelique Kerber and in her second-round match against Alison Van Uytvanck.
Can the Puerto Rican expose the movement of Broady on an indoor court? Lisicki failed to build and construct the points in order to establish a stronger position in the rally as she pulled the trigger way too quickly. Will Puig find the right balance of going for aggressive shots to safe targets? If she can, she will come out on top in this match.
Prediction: Puig in two sets
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