By Ros Satar

  • Heather Watson v Taylor Townsend
  • First meeting
  • Watson looking to snap five-match losing streak
CHARLESTON, USA – Heather Watson will kick off her time on the (albeit green-grey) dirt against Taylor Townsend at the Volvo Car Open.


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Heather Watson v Taylor Townsend | First Meeting

The season looked to be getting off to a good start for Heather Watson once she got to Hobart. She came through qualifying and got to the semi-final and it looked as though the Brit was on a decent path of the season.

Taylor Townsend at the Western & Southern Open, WTA Cincinnati 2017

Taylor Townsend at the Western & Southern Open, WTA Cincinnati 2017 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

From there though, it has stalled with five straight tour losses and Taylor Townsend is not an easy prospect to snap that against a good ball striker and volleyer like Townsend. Watson has a canny game though, and can switch to solid defence when she needs to, and has made strides to try and improve her own aggressive style of play.

Neither player have made much impression in Charleston in the past with neither making it past the first round, but if anything goes in Watson’s favour, she has at least had more play on the American clay having ploughed her way through qualifying rounds dating back to 2010.

Watson needs wins and she needs a bit of confidence. It was refreshing to see her and British No. 1 Johanna Konta (also in Charleston this week) sharing a bit of a laugh and joke in doubles as there has not been too much cheery news coming from either of their camps in recent months.

Townsend recently halted Naomi Broady in Indian Wells qualifying, but met her match against Katie Boulter in Miami, so can Watson avoid being the next Brit on her list?

Watson needs to use her speed around the court to her advantage – while it is good she has pepped up her serve to deal with the more powerful players on the tour, she generally has good court smarts and will need to mix up her play. Townsend is not averse to rushing the net, so Watson will need to be at her scampering best to earn this win.

It is winnable, but we can see this being a rollercoaster.

Prediction: Watson in three sets.

Main Image: Photo by Jon Buckle/SilverHub/REX/Shutterstock




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