Archive for the 'Heather Watson' Category


No big upsets in Estoril…..Heather Watson advances.

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There were no seeded casualties in the women’s event with second seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko leading the way into round two with a straight-forward 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 win over Briton Elena Baltacha. Third seed Anabel Medina Garrigues beat German qualifier Kristina Barrois 6-4 6-1, fourth seed Petra Cetkovska beat Alexandra Panova 6-2 6-1, and fifth seed Jie Zheng was an easy 6-3 6-1 winner over Ekaterina Makarova. Sixth seed Kaia Kanepi and ninth seed Polona Hercog also advanced, while there were wins for Jarmila Gajdosova, Maria Joao Koehler, Galina Voskoboeva, Karin Knapp and British qualifier Heather Watson, who beat Lucie Hradecka 6-4 6-4.

Spain’s Albert Montanes and Flavio Cipolla of Italy each justified their seedings by reaching the second round of the Estoril Open in Portugal with straight sets wins on Tuesday. Seventh seed Montanes was a 6-2 6-3 winner over Australia’s Matthew Ebden while Cipolla, seeded eight, eased past Argentina’s Diego Junqueira 6-1 6-4 in exactly 80 minutes. Rui Machado and Joao Sousa won all-Portuguese match-ups against Pedro Sousa and Gastao Elias respectively, but Frederico Gil failed to join them as he fell 6-4 6-2 to Germany’s Bjorn Phau. Three Spanish qualifiers also progressed, with Ivan Navarro, Inigo Cervantes and Daniel Munoz-De La Nava overcoming Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Igor Andreev and Javier Marti respectively.


Heather Watson advanced to the quarter-finals of the Bell Challenge in Quebec with a hard-fought win over Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson on Wednesday.


Watson broke her opponent’s serve six times, but still needed four match points to end Arvidsson’s resistance and seal a 7-5 6-3 victory in a match lasting an hour and 35 minutes. The 19-year-old from Guernsey will play third seed Tamira Paszek in the last eight after the Austrian battled past Varvara Lepchenko in three sets. Paszek lost the opening set on a tie-break but hit back to win 6-7 (2/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/4).

Elsewhere on Wednesday, fourth seed Rebecca Marino got the better of fellow Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4 4-6 6-4, while Holland’s Michaella Krajicek beat France’s Julie Coin 7-5 4-6 6-1.


An upset in the making as Sharapova draws teenager Heather Watson at the US Open?


Heather Watson will play Maria Sharapova in her first-ever match at the US Open next week. Watson, who won the junior title at Flushing Meadows in 2009, was drawn against the former champion on Thursday. It was one of the toughest possible draws for the teenager, with the third seed well fancied for another crack at the title having won the warm-up tournament in Cincinnati last weekend. Further down the line, Sharapova could meet Petra Kvitova again in the quarter-finals in what would be a repeat of the Wimbledon final. Kvitova caused an upset in July when she upset the Russian in the SW19 decider. Whoever progresses from that section could face second seed Vera Zvonareva, last year’s runner-up, in the semi-finals.

In the top half, world number one Caroline Wozniacki will open against Nuria Llagostra Vives in the first round. She is on course for a clash with French Open Li Na in the quarter-finals and Victoria Azarenka, the fourth seed, in the semis. However, Azarenka was handed the toughest draw as title favourite Serena Williams landed in her section. Azarenka and Williams will meet in the third round if they win their opening two matches. Williams is only seeded 28th this year after missing much of the season due to injury but she has bounced back well in recent weeks, winning titles in Stanford and Toronto. She could meet sister Venus Williams in the final after the elder of the siblings, unseeded after a slip down the rankings, was placed in the bottom half. Venus avoided a seed in the first round. She plays Vesna Dolonts first up with a potential meeting with Zvonareva looming further down the line.




Wickmayer, Watson score victories in Auckland.

Defending champion Yanina Wickmayer battled her way into the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland by beating former world number one Dinara Safina 6-3 6-7 (2/7) 6-1. The Belgian second seed was not at her best, but took advantage of some erratic moments from Safina, who suffered badly with injuries last season. She will next face German qualifier Sabine Lisicki, a 6-1 6-3 win over Florencia Molinero.

There were also wins for the eighth and ninth seeds, Sofia Arvidsson and Carla Suarez Navarro securing straight-set wins over Tamira Paszek and Romina Oprandi respectively. Suarez Navarro will next face Britain’s Heather Watson, a 6-1 6-1 winner over fellow qualifier Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, while there were also victoriues for Alize Cornet, Simona Halep and Greta Arn. The fourth and seventh seeds also secured comfortable progress.

Germany’s Julia Gorges beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-4 6-0, while Russia’s Elena Vesnina saw off local wild card Marina Erakovic 6-2 6-2.


Teenagers Heather Watson and Laura Robson will make their Fed Cup debuts for Great Britain.

Watson, 18, and Robson, 16, have both made impressive early strides in the senior game and will join Fed Cup stalwarts Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong for the Europe/Africa Zone Group I round of matches in Eilat, Israel, in the week beginning January 31. Fed Cup captain Nigel Sears said: “This team has an exciting look about it. Two players who have reached top 50 and two junior grand slam champions. “We know all about the challenges of this really tough Fed Cup group, but I believe this is the right time for Heather and Laura to step up alongside Bally and Anne and try to make this a really successful week for British women’s tennis.”

Britain has made significant progress in the women’s game over the last couple of years, with Baltacha currently ranked 55th in the world while Keothavong is battling her way back towards the top 100 after sustaining a serious knee injury in 2009. Watson, the US Open junior champion last year, has climbed to a career-high 176th in the rankings, making her the British number three, while Robson has been preferred to the likes of Katie O’Brien, Naomi Cavaday and Mel South. Watson said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been selected for Fed Cup. It’s a dream come true as I’ve grown up watching the competition. I can’t wait to head out to Israel with the girls and give it our all.” Britain will be aiming to win a place in the World Group II play-offs in April but, with only two spots available and possible opponents including world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, competition will be tough.


Four juniors are the key to UK’s tennis future.

Stars of the future: Heather Watson, George Morgan, Laura Robson and Oliver Golding are poised to begin senior careers after years of LTA funding

It’s become an annual ritual. Every year during Wimbledon, former professionals and pundits try to explain why so few Britain players are capable of maintaining a career in the world’s top 100.

Journalists tasked with finding the answer often take the opportunity to quiz the world’s best players on the subject at post-match news conferences at SW19.

“I was expecting one of those questions to pop up,” said world number seven Kim Clijsters during this year’s Championships.

“The only thing I probably notice is that we didn’t grow up with the facilities that you guys have.”

Clijsters was referring in part to the National Tennis Centre (NTC) which boasts 22 courts and excellent all-round training facilities, where the British Junior Championships are taking place this week.

The reality is that the media attention is two weeks in the year and these kids are working 52 weeks a year in pursuit of their goals

Iain Bates, women’s junior tennis manager

It is easy to understand why the British media and public are sceptical about whether the funding strategy employed by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is working. Britain has only Andy Murray ranked inside the top 200 of the men’s rankings, with Elena Baltacha the sole representative in the women’s top 100.

The process of selecting players for funding starts at a very young age. The AEGON FutureStars programme is made up of a group of roughly 400 promising players who range from the age of eight to 23.

Those that show the most potential are promoted to Team AEGON , a group of more than 40 players aged from 13 to 27 that are provided with full training support at either the NTC or a training performance centre of the player’s choice, as well as receiving substantial funds towards travel and a range of sport science support.

After 18 months in his post as women’s junior tennis manager, Iain Bates strongly disagrees with the suggestion that British juniors have too much handed to them on a plate.

“The perception is one that exists and that we’re not going to change apart from with hard work, good success and the kids putting their minds to the training,” Bates told BBC Sport.

“If the media spotlight was present 52 weeks a year it would be a lot easier for everybody to understand the quality of these players, how hard they work, the level of success that they have. It’s a lifestyle sacrifice. They give every minute of every day they have towards their tennis.

Courtesy Tim Love BBC.


Kim Clijsters is on fire on the grass!

Heather Watson’s impressive run at Eastbourne came to an end in the second round with a 6-1 6-1 defeat by world number 15 Victoria Azarenka.

The 18-year-old had won three matches in qualifying and beaten world number 48 Aleksandra Wozniak earlier in the week at the Aegon International.

But Azarenka, of Belarus, proved too strong and beat Watson in 59 minutes.

Watson, from Guernsey, will now turn her attentions to Wimbledon, where she has a wildcard for the tournament.

Fifth seed Kim Clijsters thrashed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-1 6-0 to book her place in the quarter-finals.

Australia’s Sam Stosur, the third seed, beat Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 3-6 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals and record her 300th career victory.


Heather Watson records her biggest victory to date.

British teenager Heather Watson moved through to round two of the Aegon International with a 6-3 6-2 win over world number 48 Aleksandra Wozniak.

It was a first WTA main draw victory for the 18-year-old, who is a wildcard entry for Wimbledon next week.

Guernsey’s Watson has already beaten world number 81 Tsvetana Pironkova and Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski this week and will now play Azarenka.

“I’m so, so happy,” she enthused. “I was really happy to get through qualies but I didn’t want to stop there. She’s a very good player, she came through three qualifying matches, so I knew I’d have to work hard.”

Kim Clijsters outplayed her 20-year-old compatriot Yanina Wickmayer, completing a 6-1 6-1 victory in 54 minutes in her first grass court tournament for almost four years.

The 27-year-old last played in a grass event at the 2006 Wimbledon semi-finals where she was beaten by compatriot Justine Henin.

The former world number one, who had two years away from the sport, is determined to reach the final at Wimbledon for the first time, having appeared in the three other Grand Slam finals and won the US Open in 2005 and 2009.


Henin wins to set up a 2nd round clash with Dementieva.

Justine Henin advanced to the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami with a commanding straight-sets victory over Jill Craybas.

The Belgian faced eight break points across the match but American Craybas could only take one as she lost out 6-2 before Henin repeated the measure in the second set to set up a clash with fifth seed Elena Dementieva, who she defeated in an epic second-round tie at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Japanese veteran Kimiko Date Krumm booked her place in the second round with a three-set victory over Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze.

Britain’s Anne Keothavong made an early exit from the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami after a poor serving performance saw her lose in straight sets to Austria’s Tamira Paszek.

The 26-year-old from Middlesex, who missed the latter part of the 2009 season with a serious knee injury, only managed to win 57% of points on her first serve in the opening set of this first-round clash as she let a 3-1 lead slip to a 6-4 loss.

Keovathong’s compatriot Heather Watson also exited the Florida tournament as she suffered a straight-sets defeat at the hands of Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova.

The Guernsey teenager matched her opponent in the opening set but failed to take the three break-point opportunities she created, with Pironkova taking her single chance to snatch the set 6-4.


Young Madison Keys makes an impressive start.

On Monday, top-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France defeated Ilinca Stoica of Romania 6-4, 6-3. Miami’s Gonzales Austen lost to Richard Muzaev of Russia 6-4, 6-2. Bob Van Overbeek (Boca Raton) defeated No. 14 John Morrissey (Ireland) 7-5, 6-2; Dennis Novikov (Boca Raton) defeated Bartosz Sawicki (Poland) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Third-seeded Heather Watson (Great Britain) defeated WC Krista Hardebeck (Santa Ana, Calif.) 6-2, 6-2; Noel Scott (Chicago) defeated No. 7 Camila Silva (Chile) 6-0, 6-4; and WC Lauren Davis (Gates Mills, Ohio) defeated No. 9 Yana Buchina (Russia) 3-6, 7-5, 6-0.

The word began to spread in the sun-baked bleachers beside Court 2 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on Monday, and by the time 14 year old Boca Raton phenom Madison Keys had won her opening match at the Dunlop Orange Bowl International tennis championship, those in attendance had a hunch they had just seen a preview of a rising star.

Keys is 5-10 and her serve has been clocked at 114 mph, so she didn’t look at all out of place playing in the 18-under division against Zsofia Susanyi of Hungary, the world’s 11th-ranked junior. In fact, the way Keys rolled through the first set, it was hard to tell which teenager was younger.

Perhaps most impressive was Keys’ fighting spirit. After trailing 0-3 in the second set, allowing Susanyi to get back into the match, Keys clamped down and won six consecutive games to take the match 6-2, 6-3.

“If I go down like that, it usually means I’m thinking too much about the score, getting all worked up, so I just told myself to relax and stop thinking about the score, and things turned around,” Keys said.

But in tennis terms, she is special. Last April, she won her professional debut, beating No. 81 Alla Kudrayavtseva, becoming one of the youngest players to win a pro match since Mary Joe Fernandez and Jennifer Capriati in the 1980s. Because of her age, she is limited to seven pro events a year. She is hoping for a wild card at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne in March.

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