Watson powers towards Wimbledon third round clash with Azarenka

 

By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Heather Watson [WC] def. Anastasija Sevastova [16] 6-0 6-4
  • Sets up third round clash with Victoria Azarenka
LONDON, UK – Heather Watson was not messing around as she powered her way into the third round of Wimbledon, and will face the returning Victoria Azarenka next.

 

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Heather Watson [WC] def. Anastasija Sevastova [16] 6-0 6-4

British No. 2 Heather Watson continued her great run of form in very convincing fashion, as she dominated the No. 16 seed Anastasija Sevastova for a straights sets win. To describe the girl from Guernsey as quick of the blocks would be an understatement. Sevastova was struggling with her serves and Watson was bossing the rallies to wrap up the first set in just 19 minutes.

However the Mallorcan champion this season found her footing a little better, breaking Watson in a long battle of an eight minute game and it looked as though we were set for a roller-coaster – and any jangling nerves were not made better with an exchange of three breaks of serve to put things back on a level pegging.

Her dominance from the back of the court and her variety took her through to a final break for the match. She reaches the third round for the third time in her career.

 

Watson v Victoria Azarenka | H2H: Azarenka leads 6-0

If we thought beating the No. 16 seed was going to be tough coming in with a title win Mallorca, then facing the returning two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka is certainly no less daunting.

Azarenka’s come-back in Mallorca even had the Belarusian smiling ruefully at areas of improvement, but and she had to come from a set down in her opener. The fighting spirit is still there though, and she was far more settled against Elena Vesnina, who was a semi-finalist here last year.

Watson has never managed to take a set off the Belarusian, but you have to fancy her chances of putting up a good fight this time around. She has started quick off the mark in both her matches, and the wins she has gained both last week and here now have given her a lot more confidence.

Do not underestimate Azarenka’s abilities on grass either. While many feel that she has rushed back and that the focus of her returning campaign is the summer hard-court season, she has certainly set out her stall – and is not underestimating Watson despite her dominant record over her.

Azarenka said: I don’t think Heather is defined by that only match [Wimbledon against Serena Williams]. I think she’s a great player. She definitely is going to be a crowd favourite. I think she played really well last week in Eastbourne. It looks like she feels really comfortable coming into this match.

“To me, it’s just another match. I don’t want to put any of those aspects into, pay a lot of attention to it. I’m just going to go out there and play my match. I obviously have a lot of respect to every opponent that I play and not take anything for granted.”

Watson would be well to prepare herself for a lot of running and if she wants to come in in to the net, then Azarenka will; almost certainly be throwing in drop-shots. Her doubles skills were not to be sniffed at and she can be every bit as sharp at the net.

If Watson brings her A-game that we have seen in the first two rounds she can certainly keep pace with Azarenka, but perhaps experience will win out here.

Watson said, of the match-up: “I think Vika is an incredible player and person. I really respect how hard she works and how focused she is. I look forward to playing her. I know she has only just come back, but I expect her to be playing really well because I know she will have put in the hours and the work.”

Prediction: Azarenka in three sets.

 

Who is Watson playing? Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Head to Head? Azarenka leads 6-0
What time is Watson playing & where? Centre Court, 1pm BST
Where/How to watch X’s match? BBC & Eurosport | Tennis on UK TV

 

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