Watson to face Garcia in Monterrey semi-final – PREVIEW

 

By Ros Satar

  • Heather Watson defeated Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 6-4
  • Faces Caroline Garcia in the semi-final – H2H: Watson leads 2-0
  • Kirsten Flipkens def. Johanna Konta 6-3 6-7(2) 6-1

MONTERREY, MEXICO – Heather Watson carried on her momentum with a win over second seed Caroline Wozniacki to reach her first semi-final of 2016.

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On a day where the top three British women were all bidding for places in semi-finals, with Naomi Broady leading the way earlier in the day in Kuala Lumpur, Watson arguably had the hardest task of all.

Watson started aggressively and got her breakthrough over the former World No. 1 at the tail end of the first set. Predictably, Wozniacki hit back in response, breaking Watson at the start of the second set, but Watson came straight back at her – twice. The two breaks were enough to keep the Guernsey girl’s nose in front for a straight sets win.

As reported in WTATennis.com, Watson said after the match: “I’m very happy with how I played today. I thought I played very well – I needed to against Caroline because she’s a great player – and I had to fight to the end because I knew she would,” Watson said during her on-court interview. “I just took it point by point and didn’t look too far ahead.

“I think one of her main traits is that she is such a fighter. She makes a lot of balls and makes you really win it. I knew I was going to have to finish a lot of points today, come to net and not be too passive.”

However Johanna Konta’s hope of making her second semi-final were dashed in a three-setter against another Slam semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens. The Belgian needed just a single break in the opening set, but Konta kept the pressure on in a competitive second set. After a couple of breaks each, Konta imposed herself on the tie-break, leaping out to a 5-0 lead before closing it out.

Flipkens started the better in the decider, jumping out with two straight breaks of serve to a 5-0 lead, and although Konta got back on the board, and saved a match-point it was not enough.

Watson will now face Caroline Garcia in the semi-final and should feel confident that this will be another good tussle. Garcia is also enjoying a good run of consistency at the moment, and although she does trail Watson 0-2 in their head to head, this will be their first encounter on hard courts.

Watson made a decision a few years back to try and add a lot more aggression into an already very good defensive game, and she will need that to counter Garcia around the court. Where the Frenchwoman might lack the power of some other players, she can whip up a lot of pace in the ball, and attack may well be the best form of defence for the current British No. 2.

Expect a tight and hard fought three-setter, as Watson bids not only for her first final of the year, but to stay just ahead of Broady who bids for her first career WTA tour level final.

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