Watson’s Wimbledon is over for another year

HEATHER WATSON’S somewhat disappointing Wimbledon finally came to an end out on Court 14 at the All England Club yesterday – but it was not through lack of effort.

Harriet Dart (left) and Heather Watson discuss tactics during the round of 16 doubles match against Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan on court 14 on on day seven of Wimbledon at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday July 5, 2021.. (29730216)
Harriet Dart (left) and Heather Watson discuss tactics during the round of 16 doubles match against Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan on court 14 on on day seven of Wimbledon at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday July 5, 2021.. (29730216)

Having crashed out in the first rounds of both the women’s singles and the mixed doubles last week, the 29-year old from Guernsey exited the women’s doubles at the third round stage along with fellow Brit Harriet Dart, going down 6-4 2-6 2-6 to sisters Latisha and Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan, the number seven seeds.

If the second and third sets give the impression that Watson and Dart caved in, nothing could be further from the truth.

Having edged a close first set, sealing a decisive break of serve in the ninth game, Dart then had her own service broken in the fourth game of the second to hand the initiative to the Taiwanese duo.

Ultimately the match swung on the key seventh game of the deciding third set. Having had their serve broken, Watson and Dart squandered three break points and the opportunity to get back into the match to go down 2-5, a position from which they were unable to save themselves.

‘That was a winnable match and, although the scoreline in the last two sets maybe doesn’t suggest it, it was very close,’ Watson told the Guernsey Press and Star afterwards.

‘We had lots of chances but just weren’t able to capitalise on them. We’ve got to give them credit – they just held onto their service games so well. We kept applying the pressure but they just managed to squeeze through every time.

‘But we were right in it. We could have easily been walking off the court with a two sets to love win but, with doubles, the momentum shifts. Suddenly it can become anyone’s game.

‘It wasn’t meant to be today. We kept fighting and we kept creating chance after chance. We never gave up. But then neither did they.’

Watson, who has only had one day away from either competing or training since the French Open in early June, will now take a short break before turning her attention to Tokyo and the Olympics where she’ll compete for Team GB.

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