By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Heather Watson def. Caty McNally [Q] 7-6(3) 6-2
  • Watson v Anett Kontaveit [20] | H2H tied at 2-2

WIMBLEDON, UK – Heather Watson held her nerve to beat qualifier Caty McNally and books a second-round match-up against Anett Kontaveit.

 

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Heather Watson def. Caty McNally [Q] 7-6(3) 6-2

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Former British No. 1 Heather Watson battled long and hard to put qualifier Caty McNally out of the tournament and earn a second round spot in Wimbledon for the first time since 2017. However, she had to fight against a spirited defence from McNally.

Watson had to come from 1-3 down in the first set, easing her way back into the match to level before the pair traded another flurry of breaks before leading to a tie-break. Watson’s early lead was pegged back but once she got her nose in front again she ploughed away to take the first set.

It was maybe a cleaner second set for Watson who built up a 5-1 lead but the nerves were on show despite saving three break points, and taking four match points to close out a win.

“I’m a confidence player, so not having those wins in the last few weeks, I was maybe overthinking a bit. But I’d actually been practicing really, really well, winning all my practice sets. So, losing in those first rounds was quite disappointing. When I came here, I was actually practicing terribly. I had a practice with [Andrea] Petkovic the other day. I lost 6-1, 3-Love. But I was actually excited about it because I’d been practicing well losing. So I thought, I’m not practicing well now, and look, I’ve won (smiling).”

 

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Watson v Anett Kontaveit [20] | H2H tied at 2-2

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Next up for Watson is someone she knows pretty well – No. 20 seed Anett Kontaveit. Although she hit a purple patch in that crossover between the spring hard court swing and the beginning of the European clay court season, things have not gone so well for the Estonian with as clear a British accent as you will hear.

She has just two wins out of four matches on the grass and has not won a back to back match since reaching the Stuttgart final.

Watson said, of the round two match-up: “We’ve played each other four times, I think. It’s 2-All in our head-to-head. I know her well. We’ve practiced a lot together. She’s having maybe the best year of her career so far. She’s seeded here. It will be a tough match. But hopefully I can loosen up and improve my level.”

Watson and Kontaveit are scheduled on No. 1 court at 1pm BST.

 

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