By Ros Satar
- Heather Watson v Anastasia Potapova
- First Meeting
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – After the huge disappointment of missing out on a thrilling Fed Cup week for Great Britain, Heather Watson looks to regain some confidence against Anastasia Potapova.
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Heather Watson v Anastasia Potapova | First Meeting
It has been a rough time for the current British No. 3 Heather Watson. After having to play through qualifying rounds in Brisbane and Hobart, she has not made much impact in 2019. Her only back to back wins came in Hobart where she made the first round of the main draw but went no further, and was bundled out of the Australian Open for the gain of just three games on the board.
Although she was part of the Fed Cup team and was in the early activities and training, illness ruled her out of the tie, which saw her compatriots reach the World Group II Play-offs again, with Watson unable to even be on the side-lines supporting the team.
It will be a first time meeting against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova who has been compared in terms of her attacking tennis style to Maria Sharapova, when she first burst on the tennis scene. She plays high-risk, fearless tennis, and is really not the ideal opener for Watson, who is short on confidence.
The only thing that may be in the Guernsey-woman’s favour is that Potapova also has not played since the second round of the Australian Open, and like Watson has a flurry of qualifying wins behind her, in Brisbane, but was unable to capitalise in the main draw.
However, although we have seen Watson’s body language slump in these hard times, one thing she does have is experience and her defensive skills can make her a bit of a wall – something that will try the patience of the young Russian who certainly is not afraid to show her feelings. Watson may be able to get something going if she can keep her temperament and get under the Russian’s skin.
Watson at her best is a natural defender but can play solid offensive tennis, with a lot of variety and aggression. However, her matches of late have been pretty frustrating affairs for player and observers and against a young, fearless big hitter – it could be a tough start for the Brit.
Prediction: Potapova in three sets.
Watson & Potapova are scheduled not before 3:30pm (2:30pm GMT) on Centre Court
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