October 4, 2022

Heather Watson is playing in her 43rd major and has reached the fourth round of a major for the first time in singles. the 30-year-old will face Jule Niemeier in the singles draw and will return to the pitch later at the All England Club to play doubles with Harriet Dart

Last update: 01/07/22 22:02

Heather Watson makes her 12th appearance at the Wimbledon Championships

Britain’s Heather Watson advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career after a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 win over Kaja Juvan.

The Briton worked hard to win the first set and then knocked her opponent off the court for much of the second set.

The first time Watson tried to serve the game she was shattered, before calming her nerves and riding through a long final game, with five points to take her first match point.

“Firstly, it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a bit of drama at the end,” the 30-year-old said on the pitch. “Wow, what an atmosphere, there’s nowhere I’d rather play. You got me over the line.

“I’m so happy. Thanks to my team for pushing me and being with me through thick and thin. Playing here at home, the atmosphere is everything. Please everyone come back for my fourth round!”

Watson next faces Jule Niemeier in the singles draw, but before that she will be back on the court on Friday to play doubles with Harriet Dart.

The third-round victory marks a turning point in the 30-year-old’s career, having never reached this point in a major tournament before in singles.

Watson made her championship singles debut in 2010 and five years later served in the third round match against Serena Williams.

She was unable to cross the line then and this time on the No. 1 court, Watson also found serving for the match a challenge.

Match statistics

Heather WatsonKaja Juvan
2Double faults5
58%First serve in %50%
74%Earn % on first serve55%
47%Win % on second serve52%
17/27Net points earned11/23
4/6Break points earned2/8
19Unforced errors21
76Total points earned62

An even first set was decided by a tie-break, in which Watson needed four set points to win it. After that, the Briton raised her level again while world number 62 Juvan disappeared.

Watson didn’t need a second invitation to punish her and before the final games she had all the answers. However, at 5-0, Juvan resumed swinging freely through the ball and prevented Watson from crossing the line easily.

On the big points, Watson found his footing with his first serve and continued to couple superb power from the back with deft lobs and clutch volleys.

An extended final game put Watson’s side through, but the 30-year-old eventually created match point and took it with both hands.

“I wouldn’t play again if I thought the ship had sailed,” Watson added afterwards. “I’m really happy to finally be in the second week of a singles Grand Slam.”

Jabeur was a quarter-finalist at the Championships last year

Jabeur was a quarter-finalist at the Championships last year

Elsewhere in the draw, Ons Jabeur sent a message of intent with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Diane Parry, which lasted just 68 minutes on center court.

The third seed highlighted the variety she has in her game and will assume Elise Mertens in the fourth round. Mertens defeated the former champion Angelique Kerber 6-4 7-5.

A match on Court 2 delivered the shock of the day, as Tajana Maria beat the fifth seed Maria Sakkari 6-3 7-5.

At 34, Maria is the oldest German player in the Open era to have reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament.

Maria will face the 12th seed Jelena Ostapenkowho was the first woman to advance to the fourth round, after losing 3-6 6-1 6-1 to Irina Begu.

Williams makes winning return alongside Murray

Venus Williams and Jamie Murray

Venus Williams and Jamie Murray

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams returned to Grand Slam action on Friday night with victory alongside Jamie Murray in mixed doubles.

The 42-year-old retired in the second round of singles action at Wimbledon last year and has only been involved in one other match since, sparking retirement talk.

But a surprise wild card announcement earlier in the week saw the American return to London and team up with Murray, three years after their siblings Serena Williams and Andy Murray paired up in SW19.

And a 6-3 6-7(3) 6-3 win over Michael Venus and Alicja Rosolska saw the pair continue to fly the family flag at Wimbledon after Andy and Serena retired early from singles.

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