By Jake Davies

  • Heather Watson [Q] defeats Sorana Cirstea [3] 7-5 6-3
  • Watson gets Australian wildcard Jaimee Fourlis next
HOBART, TASMANIA – Heather Watson capped a strong run through qualifying again this time with scalp of the No. 3 seed Sorana Cirstea to reach the second round.


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Heather Watson [Q] defeats Sorana Cirstea [3] 7-5 6-3

Heather Watson salvaged a fantastic first-round win over the Romanian third seed Sorana Cirstea in a match that could really have gone either way. The British No.2 charged into a double break lead but lost her grip on the set as Cirstea started to manage her unforced error count, winning five games in a row. It began to look like it was one of those matches which Watson would let get away, but after missing out on eight set points in the 12th game of the set, Watson converted on the ninth and did not put a foot wrong from that moment onward.

Tennis isn’t always about playing lights out tennis to get the victory, but it is also about fighting, gritting your teeth and getting the most out of your game even when things start to spiral out of control. Watson will feel the benefits of coming through the first set tiebreak in the way that she did and then making sure she stamped her authority on the match in the second set.

It goes to show that the wins in the qualifying rounds of the WTA events should not be taken lightly in the slightest. The qualifying draws can be brutally hard to get out of when you are in the ranking bracket like Watson is, so it is good to see her using those two invaluable matches to build her confidence.


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Heather Watson [Q] vs Jaimee Fourlis [WC] H2H: First meeting

Next for Watson is another promising Australian talent. Watson had already beaten a talented Australian up-and-comer in the first round of qualifying and now faces Jaimee Fourlis. Fourlis is vastly inexperienced at 18 years of age, but she is one of the brightest stars in Australian tennis. She won the Australian Open wildcard Playoff last year and won a round in her Grand Slam main draw debut at the 2017 Australian Open and she really does strike the ball first and worries about the consequences later. She’s an aggressive, offensive baseliner that tries to get her forehand into action as much as possible. Watson can give as good as she gets. We know that, but it’ll be interesting to see how she handles the fireworks coming from the other side of the court, because there will be many of them.

Prediction: Watson in three sets




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