By Ros Satar

HOBART, AUSTRALIA – Heather Watson faces a familiar foe in Elise Mertens when the quarter-final sees a battle of the former champions.

 

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Heather Watson [Q] def. Fiona Ferro 7-6(5), 6-3

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British No. 2 Heather Watson continued a good run of form this week, as she got past France’s Fiona Ferro in a delayed match due to rain and darkness. With the weather causing chaos all over Australian tennis tournaments, Watson was lucky to get finished, with her match having been moved after rain delayed play.

Watson started confidently with an immediate break, but found herself pegged back on serve. She had three further chances to break but the Frenchwoman thwarted her attempts to take the lead once more.

The pair traded two breaks each to advance to a tie-break. Momentum shifted with a pair of mini0breaks each before Watson just edged ahead to take the first set. The match was suspended for darkness on serve with Watson ahead 3-2, having lost her opening serve and regained the break back. Watson broke in the penultimate game and clinched the match on her first match point.

 

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Watson [Q] v Elise Mertens [1] | Mertens leads H2H 1-0

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In what will be a battle of the former champions, two-time Hobart winner Elise Mertens arrives having blasted her way into the quarter-final for the loss of just one game, against Viktoria Kuzmova. She has lost just three games in total on her way into the quarter-final.

She faces Watson on her way to a back to back title in Hobart in the semi-final with Watson taking a set off her for the first time in their meetings, and the Brit will have to exercise that same tenacity if she wants to make a dent on Mertens’ run towards a third title.

Watson and Mertens are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 3pm (4am GMT).

 

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