Watson blasts through the rounds to reach career-best at Grand Slam
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Heather Watson blitzed her way to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time after ousting the world No.62, Kaja Juvan, with a 7-5, 6-2 straight-sets masterclass.
After a troubling year for the Briton, the 30-year-old found her form in front of roaring home crowds as she rocketed her way through the early rounds at SW19 to punch a ticket for her first-ever fourth round appearance at a Grand Slam.
“It means everything. Playing here at home in front of all you guys – the atmosphere is everything!” the British No.4 reavealed.
To reach the third round, Watson posted wins against the likes of Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch and China’s Qiang Wang as she paved the way to her best run since 2017 when she defeated the then eighteenth seed, Anastasija Sevastova, to reach the third round.
Watson attacked the opening set with confidence as she posted 89% of first serve points won measured against her opponent’s 63%. However, it was the Slovakian who made the first move as she converted the first break point of the match to edge an advantage.
Trailing behind, the Briton dragged Juvan line-to-line as she responded with an immediate break back. With a breaker to decipher their fate, Watson claimed two mini breaks following a merciless volley as she travelled in court to take the lead. Awarded three set points, Watson was unable to capitalise as Juvan clawed her way back to parity before a double fault gifted the Brit the fourth set point as she became the first to make the scoreboard.
Momentum continuing to build out of the first set, Watson kept her foot firmly down on the accelerator as she found an immediate triple break in the second to form a healthy 5-0 lead. 100% break points converted; the British star was just moments away from the biggest moment in her career to date as she raced to the finish line.
Pushing back from the brink, Juvan broke Watson as the pressure hung over the home favourite, finding her feet once again as she sought inspiration. As the tension levels surged at an ultimate high, Watson held her nerve as she fought off four break points before stretching herself for the shot that would put the match to bed in one hour and 57 minutes.
As she becomes the first Brit to advance to the fourth round in this year's Championships, the 30-year-old shared the secret to the British camp’s success as four remain.
“I’ve watched all of their [the Brits’] matches, and even if I’ve missed them, I’ve watched them on the recap at the end of the day. So, it’s really inspiring and I think we’re all egging each other on.”