Wimbledon: Heather Watson reaches fourth round for first time

Heather Watson
Heather Watson has reached the singles fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time in 12 appearances
Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

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.

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