Wimbledon: Watson reaches fourth round for first time

Written by The Frontier Post

Wimbledon (Agencies): Heather Watson reached the last 16 of a Grand Slam in singles for the first time as she overcame Kaja Juvan to reach the Wimbledon fourth round.
The world number 121 defeated the 21-year-old Slovenian 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.
Having clinched the first-set tie-break at the fourth opportunity, a relieved Watson punched the air in celebration as she held off a late Juvan resurgence to convert her first match point. Watson, 30, plays German Jule Niemeier next. Niemeier, the world number 97, booked her place in the fourth round with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 win over Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko.
Watson celebrated an emotional victory over Tamara Korpatsch in her first-round match on Court One – which followed what she described as a “disaster” on the very same stage last year, when she missed a match point in defeat by lucky loser Kristie Ahn.
She produced a superb display as she returned to the show court, having equalled her best Wimbledon singles performance by ousting China’s Wang Qiang in straight sets in the second round. Making her 12th Wimbledon appearance, Watson has played singles every day of the tournament so far in a demanding start after her first two matches were halted late on Monday and Wednesday.
Against the world number 62, she recovered from the disappointment of missing three set points in the first-set tie-break to take charge of the match – and eventually got over the line having at one point led 5-0 in the second set. Despite three comfortable opening holds and a break point of her own, it was Watson who first lost serve in the seventh game, but she maintained her composure to hit back immediately.
Resilience was a key factor in Watson’s victory. She led the tie-break 6-3 but after getting back to 6-6, the Slovenian conceded the set with a double fault.
Somewhat unexpectedly, that quality was required again in the second set as a free-swinging Juvan rallied to claw back one of the three breaks she trailed by – and held four break points on Watson’s serve at 5-2.
Roared on by the home crowd, Watson battled back, closing out her biggest Wimbledon win in singles with a forehand volley. Receiving a standing ovation, she kissed the grass as she returned to the court to celebrate her breakthrough triumph.
Ons Jabeur and Jelena Ostapenko through to fourth round: Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur showcased her skill and variety to entertain the Wimbledon fans on the way to reaching the fourth round.
Jabeur, 27, dominated the early exchanges and that set the platform for a 6-2 6-3 win over French teenager Diane Parry on Centre Court. Jabeur threatened to bagel Parry as she led 5-0 in the opening set but the 19-year-old made a fight of the contest. Jabeur faces 2018 champion Angelique Kerber or Elise Mertens next.
After climbing to second in the WTA world rankings on the back of winning a grass-court title in Berlin, Jabeur is one of the players expected to challenge Iga Swiatek’s recent domination on a surface she loves.
Another quickfire win against Parry, which was actually her longest of the tournament despite only taking one hour and eight minutes, means she has not dropped a set this week.
Using her variety to good effect, she raced into a commanding lead against the talented Parry, who only got on the scoreboard after 32 minutes. Parry burst on to the scene by shocking defending champion Barbora Krejcikova at the recent French Open, but looked slightly overawed on her Centre Court debut.

She improved towards the end of the first set and made the contest more competitive, only to hand the momentum in a tighter second set to Jabeur with a horror service game at 3-3.

Jabeur held to love and then broke again to quickly wrap up an eighth successive win on the grass, which demonstrates her credentials for landing a maiden Grand Slam title this fortnight.

She is joined in the fourth round by Latvian 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko, who came from a set down to beat Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 3-6 6-1 6-1.

It marks the first time she has reached the last 16 of a Grand Slam since her 2018 run to the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Former French Open champion Ostapenko will face Greece’s fifth seed Maria Sakkari or Tatjana Maria of Germany next.

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