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‘I was always waiting for this to happen!’ Thrilled Watson breaks new ground at Wimbledon – seven years after Serena
Ten years after she first made it into the Wimbledon third round, Heather Watson is finally into Round 4
Then the British No 1, in 2015, Watson served for the match at 5-4 in the third set – having fought her way back from a set down, and winning six games on the bounce from 3-3 in the second.
She brushed off suggestions that the near-miss against Serena had played on her mind.
“I actually think the further I get in a tournament, the more relaxed I get because my confidence builds, and also I’m proud of myself for getting to that point in the first place,” she said after her win against Kaja Juvan 7-6 (6), 6-2 in the third round.
“I think that shows in my results; the deeper I get in a tournament, the better I do. So, yeah, I was very calm coming in today. I lost to Juvan in the US Open at the end of last year so I know how well she can play. She’s a very crafty player, has pretty much everything: great hands, slices, comes to the net. We’re quite similar in that sense.
“I think it’s because I respect all the players on tour. I know how well everyone can play on their day. And the depth in the women’s game… That just keeps me levelheaded.”
Watson: “I did it in dramatic fashion”
The 30-year-old, now ranked 109, said that she had always believed she could break that third-round barrier one day.
“I wouldn’t still be playing if I thought that ship had sailed,” she said. “Yeah, I’ve been in the third round quite a few times here at Wimbledon and Australian Open. So, yeah, I was just sort of waiting for it to happen. I waited long enough, I think, and did it in dramatic fashion!”
She did – what with rain delays and awkward scheduling, Watson was pleased to be able to beat Kaja Juvan in straight sets, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
When she stepped into her press conference, Watson wasn’t aware that she would be playing Jule Niemeier from Germany, number 97 in the world, next – but the journalists informed her.
“I played her in Monterrey this year,” she recalled. “She’s a good player, really good player. Rankings, honestly, I don’t care what people’s rankings are. Everybody’s good…When I played her, she was outside the top hundred. I remember saying to my team, This girl will be top hundred in no time.”
Watson will be in the singles field for the second week at a Slam for the very first time – but in the meantime, she has the doubles, partnering Harriet Dart.