Heather Watson in action at Roland Garros by Getty Images
Heather Watson has won the AEGON Player of the Month award for May.
It is only fitting that the British women’s No.2 should win the award for May, the month in which 19 year old entered the world top 100 rankings for the first time.
Currently the world No.93, Watson had a quiet year until she made promising waves at the French Open. She won all three of her qualifiers in straight-sets to become the first British woman to reach the main draw via the qualifying rounds in 28 years, since Kate Brasher in 1983. She overcame Romanian Olaru Iona-Raluca 6-3, 6-0 then Australian Sally Peers 6-3, 7-5 before finally dispatching of Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 6-4.
She then faced the experienced skills of Frenchwoman Stephanie Foretz-Gacon in the opening round. A tough first set saw Watson lose her serve in the opening game, and she soon found herself 2-4 down soon after. But the young Brit kept her cool and temperament in check, avoiding any histrionics a la Rome, and came back to win in a tense tie break 7-6 (6). She carried this momentum into the second set, going into a 5 game lead. Foretz-Gacon then offered some resistance before Watson saw off the match, winning 6-1 and in doing so becoming the first British woman since 1994 to win a main draw match at Roland Garros.
In round two, Watson was drawn against then world No.16 Kaia Kanepi. Despite some fine rallies and a number of points won, she could not convert them into games and went on to lose 6-1, 6-3 to the 25 year old Estonian and 2008 French Open quarter finalist.
Watson, a 2008 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, can take great encouragement from her performances in May, and will be looking to continue this form during the grass court season. She is currently in round two of the AEGON Classic, and has been invited to play Wimbledon as a wild card.