By Ros Satar
- Defeated Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets
- Sets up third round match with Serena Williams
- Reached third round for the second time in her career
Heather Watson kept her cool on the hottest day on record at Wimbledon, as she swept past Daniela Hantuchova to book a third round match up with World No. 1 Serena Williams.
Watson had to fight her way back into the match after a slow start which saw her swiftly fall behind 1-3, and having been brushed aside in her opening set by Caroline Garcia, Watson had to be quick this time to stop the rot, against an opponent who defeated her last year at the Australian Open.
She gritted her teach and crept back into the match, having gifted the Slovakian a break with a run of three double faults. Hantuchova is a former Top five player and reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2002 so is more than capable of capitalising on those kinds of errors.
Watson explained: “I just stayed calm and brought it back. I definitely kept my cool better today. I was a lot calmer.”
Watson broke straight back and broke once more to keep herself in contention before nudging ahead in the match for the first time, after consolidating the break, and confidently took the first set point.
Despite the pair trading breaks in the first three games of the second set, it took one further decisive break for Watson to edge ahead to a more imposing 4-1 lead, although Hantuchova was not done yet, saving two match points in total, before dumping a forehand listlessly into the net.
Watson was determined not to get carried away with the next match, as her prospective opponent had not even started the second round match yet, when asked specifically about Serena Williams.
She said: “I don’t think that’s really fair that people do that. I know she’s, you know, the favourite to win that, but she hasn’t played yet.”
She added: “Serena’s a great player. She’s an amazing athlete, a great champion. She’s always the one to watch. She’s always the favourite for every tournament she plays. So I think she’s the one to beat in tournaments like this. She’s probably the toughest opponent.”
Watson will enjoy her first day off having played three days in a row. Her opening match against Garcia was carried over to Tuesday in a one-set shoot out.
She said: “I didn’t want to start slow. I didn’t want to start slow the other day either. So I’ve been doing kind of different warmups, I’ve been playing a few points in practice before I play my match, which usually I just warm up my strokes. And also before the match, I’m doing a lot more quick feet stuff to get the body going, get the body warm.”
Watson will play Williams on Friday.