Watson registers best win since 2017
HEATHER WATSON produced her best victory since 2017 today to upset second seed Wang Qiang 6-3, 6-0 in 78min. to progress to the last eight of the Tianjin Open.
The Guernsey player had not won a hard court match on the WTA Tour in over a year coming into this week, but stormed to a comfortable victory against the WTA world No. 22 and will now face Magda Linette in her first WTA Tour quarter-final in little over a year.
Poland’s Linette is ranked 42nd in the world.
After being made to made to fight hard for her opening service games, the WTA World No.125, whose last Top 30 win came at Wimbledon 2017 against Anastasija Sevastova, found her rhythm and dominated an opponent who had hoped for success on her home-town court.
The variety of the lower-ranked player was excellent. Dropshots were judiciously thrown in, while her shot selection was largely immaculate. This was best exemplified with the rally that sealed the opening set as she hit the lines on multiple occasions before her opponent succumbed to the pressure by netting.
There was no relent in Watson’s excellence at the start of the second set as she quickly established a 0-40 lead on the Wang serve. Although two of these points were saved by the Chinese, the third was taken.
It was evident, thereafter, that Watson’s self-belief grew exponentially and as the set progressed, she hit the ball increasingly decisively, with her winner count spiralling.