By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Heather Watson (WC) v Maryna Zanevska
- Naomi Broady (WC) v Irina-Camelia Begu
- Laura Robson (WC) v Beatriz Haddad Maia
LONDON, UK – There are four British women in action on Day 1 at Wimbledon, as Heather Watson, Naomi Broady, and Laura Robson join Johanna Konta in main draw action.
Heather Watson (WC) v Maryna Zanevska
British No. 2 Heather Watson seemed to be rounding nicely into form after reaching the semi-final of the Aegon International at Eastbourne, having started the grass court season reaching the final of the ITF event in Surbiton.
All in all it puts her in a far more confident frame of mind that we have seen of late, on a surface she loves. Although she is lingering now around the Top 100, she certainly has far more experience and more importantly a solid set of match wins last week to carry her into this match.
Maryna Zanevska has spent most of her time this year either in the lower ITF events, or battling (and more often failing) to get through qualifying. Watson must hold on to what confidence she had coming into this week but as always we can expect to be taken on a bit of a roller-coaster.
Prediction: Watson in three sets
Naomi Broady (WC) v Irina-Camelia Begu
For a short time one of Watson’s closest friends on the tour took over the mantle of British No. 2, but above all, Naomi Broady has her agenda to try to get herself into the US main draw so a win over Irina-Camelia Begu would help.
The Romanian has fallen down the rankings since reaching a career high of 22 last August, but is not a huge force to be reckoned with on grass. That being said, she comes in maybe a little more match sharp than Broady, having dropped to the Southsea ITF event, winning the title as her warm-up.
This could be a tough start for Broady, but her serve and power on a surface she thinks she is at least ‘friends’ with could help the Brit on her way to the US Open main draw. Expect this to go the distance.
Prediction: Broady in three sets.
Laura Robson (WC) v Beatriz Haddad Maia
The former British No. 1 Laura Robson is continuing her slow climb back up the rankings. Having been in the Top 30 before wrist injuries halted her career, it has been a long hard slog for her, and apart from the first round in Nottingham, she picked up another three matches on the ITF warm-up events in ilkley and Southsea.
Her saving grace against Beatriz Haddad Maia is that she at least has a lot more experience playing on the surface, and also playing for a big crowd, as she opens proceedings on Court 18, one of the show courts.
It has been a long time since Robson has been in this position but she was always a big occasion player, and hopefully with a crowd behind her, she can make the most of getting past a player who has only made the main draw at Wimbledon for the first time. On paper this is the Brazilian’s match, but if the Robson of old can resurface it would be a fantastic win.
Prediction: Robson in three sets.
Robson and Haddad Maia kick off play on Court 18 at 11:30am, Broady and Begu are scheduled on Court 14, not before 3:30pm, with Watson and Zanevska last on Court 2, not before 5pm – all times BST.
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