Watson v Flipkens WTA Monterrey final – Preview

 By Ros Satar

  • Heather Watson def. Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-2
  • Faces Kirsten Flipkens for the title
  • H2H: Flipkens leads 2-0

MONTERREY, MEXICO – Heather Watson could cap off a great week with her first title of 2016 when she faces Kirsten Flipkens for the Abierto Monterrey Afirme title on Sunday.

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Watson cruised past a hobbled Caroline Garcia in the semi-final, after sensationally outlasting second seed and former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-final and once more was in no mood to mess around.

The Brit raced out to a 4-1 lead and unlike Garcia’s quarter-final (against Pauline Parmentier), where she was in the same position) this time Garcia struggled with a lower back injury and could not fight her way back into the set.

Garcia, quite obviously distressed, took a medical timeout in a bid to salvage her hopes of reaching the final, but Watson remained dominant, wrapping up a straight sets win over the Frenchwoman.

Talking to WTATennis.com, Watson said: “I was very happy with how I played today but obviously Caroline was hurting today,” Watson said after their match. “I hope she gets better soon, hope it’s nothing too serious.

“[The final] won’t be easy,” Watson continued. “I’ve played Kirsten a few times and she’s very experienced. It definitely won’t be easy – I’ll have to bring my A-game tomorrow.”

She is not far wrong – the Belgian leads Watson 2-0 in their head to head, all on hard courts, and also put paid to British No. 1 Johanna Konta’s campaign in the quarter-final.

What Flipkens lacks in height, she makes up for in agility and sharpness at the net. Watson can most certainly match her in the agility stakes, but will need to step up the aggression, looking for cheap points on her improved serve, and be prepared to try and battle with some power of her own.

She will have to be sharp again from the get-go, and be prepared to go toe-to-toe with Flipkens – they have had a couple of tie-breaks in their past to encounters, and this will be an outstanding run in to Indian Wells for the Guernsey girl, who is defending fourth round points. She was granted a wild-card last week for the main draw, where she will be joined by Laura Robson and Konta.

Watson and Flipkens are scheduled on Cancha Central, not before 3pm (9pm GMT).

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