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Watson on a roll at Surbiton

Tennis | Published:

HEATHER WATSON hopes that her solid singles form on the grass courts of Surbiton will put her in good stead for a still-possible individual Wimbledon appearance.

Things are looking up for Heather Watson with the main grass-court season rolling into life. (Picture by B&O Press, 24890391)

Though a dismal singles run in 2018 has left Watson outside the coveted world top 100, two opening scalps at the ongoing Surbiton Trophy have sent the recent Fukuoka champion further in the right direction.

The current WTA No. 110 was yesterday due to contest her quarter-final against Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova, the current world No. 74 and her foil in the 2017 final, but heavy weather delays meant that she had yet to play at the time of writing.

Watson had overthrown two top-100 ranked players earlier on in the grass-court season opener.

She started on a definite high by beating world No. 70 Evgeniya Rodina, of Russia, with a 6-4, 6-1 scoreline.

The Sarnian then beat a former training partner and the current world No. 90, Madison Brengle of America, for a quarter-final place. She battled from four games down in the opener for a well-fought 6-4, 6-2 win.

‘I’m so pleasantly surprised by how well I’ve started the grass-court season, as coming from clay every year is a really tough transition,’ said Watson.

Watson hopes to make the singles draw for Wimbledon despite being outside the world ranking required for automatic Grand Slam qualification.

The possibility of withdrawals or a wild-card place means that she is still in the picture and meanwhile, she is working hard on improving her ranking.

‘I will play every week from now before Wimbledon – here at Surbiton, which I can do from home, then Manchester, then Birmingham and then Eastbourne,’ she added.

‘I would certainly hope and expect to be back inside the top-100 by Eastbourne – that is the immediate goal.’

Jamie Ingrouille

By Jamie Ingrouille
Sports reporter

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