• Heather Watson [Q]def Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 3-6 6-1
  • Watson v Ashleigh Barty [1] | H2H: First Meeting
MONTREAL, CANADA – Heather Watson came through another three-setter and sets up a second-round clash against top seed Ashleigh Barty.

 

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Heather Watson [Q]def Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 3-6 6-1

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British No. 2 Heather Watson had to come from behind straight away in her first round match against fellow qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich after getting broken in the first game, but confidence seems to be rising for Watson as she broke three times in a row to coast to the first set.

They traded breaks at the start of the start of the second set before Sasnovich started to put the pressure on Watson, breaking the Brit three times in a row herself.

The decider had another immediate break but this time it was Watson in the ascendancy as she built up a 4-1 lead. She finished it off with a break to advance to the second round at the Western & Southern Open for the first time.

 

H2H & Match Fundamentals

Heather Watson [Q] v Ashleigh Barty [1] H2H: First Meeting
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Hard (O) Prize Money: $15,330
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Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)

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H2H: Heather Watson (WR 67) Ashleigh Barty (WR 1)
Tournament Previous Best R1 (2014) SF (2019)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 33.8 42.2
Return Points Won % 42.7 46.2
Break Point Conversion % 44 43.6
Break Points Saved % 53.1 59.8
Total Points Won % 49.7 54.8

Again not surprisingly Watson is trailing Barty who started the new season after a long absence off the tour during the pandemic, as though she had never been away. The Aussie has been consistent until she reached Tokyo where she suffered a straight sets defeat to Sara Sorribes Tormo, before claiming the mixed doubles bronze.

 

Playing Styles & Prediction

Barty’s strength is her variety and all-round skills around the court. That is not to say that Watson is not as versatile – but this is, as always, a real test of whether Watson can string together consistent results.

Her most successful main draw run this year was to reach the Birmingham semi-final and she has come through three tough three-setters to reach the second round here.

That being said, she has absolutely nothing to lose in essentially a free hit against the World No. 1.

Prediction: Barty in three sets.

 

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