Heather Watson in the 2021 Viking Classic, Birmingham, UK
Heather Watson in the 2021 Viking Classic, Birmingham, UK | (Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images for LTA)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2021 | Watson & Swan start their Wimbledon campaigns on Day One

  • Heather Watson v Kristie Ahn
  • Katie Swan [Q] v Madison Keys [23]
LONDON, UK – Heather Watson and Katie Swan help kick off a stacked day of Brits on Day One of Wimbledon.


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Heather Watson v Kristie Ahn H2H & Match Fundamentals

It was a tough season for Heather Watson until she reached the grass and a great run in Birmingham has helped her confidence. Up for her in her first match is lucky loser Kristie Ahn.

Heather Watson v Kristie Ahn [LL] H2H: Watson leads 1-0 (ITF)
Wimbledon London, UK
Grass (O) Prize Money: £48,000
Second on Court 18, not before 1pm BBC Sport


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021 – Grass)

H2H: Heather Watson (WR 65) Kristie Ahn (WR 118)
Tournament Previous Best R3 (2012, 2015, 2017) R1 (2019)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 33.4 36.2
Return Points Won % 40 44.2
Break Point Conversion % 48.9 59.3
Break Points Saved % 68.9 59
Total Points Won % 50.4 49.5


Watson has had the benefit of more matches but Ahn has proved to be much more effective in terms of her return game, and making the most of the chances she had to break in relatively few matches. All the same – Watson is a confidence player and should come in with some momentum.


Playing Styles & Prediction

Both can play an aggressive game and certainly over the years Watson has had to develop more of an edge to her already impressive defensive game. Ahn has had a smattering of matches and of course lost in the final round of qualifying, and got in as a lucky loser, so can come in treating this as effectively a free hit.

That puts the pressure firmly on Watson’s shoulders and she can struggle sometimes if she gets herself in a winning position, as we saw against Iga Swiatek in her first round match in Eastbourne.

Watson can win this, but also expect this to be full of drama.

Prediction: Watson in three sets.


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Katie Swan [Q] v Madison Keys [23] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Embed from Getty Images

Katie Swan became the first British woman to qualify for The Championships in 20 years, as she was the sole female survivor from qualification.

Her reward is Madison Keys who has not played much or been in the best of form so far this year.


Katie Swan [Q] v Madison Keys [23] H2H: First Meeting
Wimbledon London, UK
Grass (O) Prize Money: £48,000
First on Court 3 at 11am BBC Sport


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021 – Grass)

H2H: Katie Swan (WR 290) Madison Keys (WR 26)
Tournament Previous Best R2 (2018) QF (2015)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 44.1 29.3
Return Points Won % 49.4 40.9
Break Point Conversion % 43.6 32.4
Break Points Saved % 47.4 65
Total Points Won % 54.1 52.5

There are plenty of areas where Keys will struggle if she cannot get her game on track, but has been more effective in saving break points on her serve.


Playing Styles and Prediction

You would think that Keys’ dominant serve and powerful groundstrokes would be perfect for the grass, as she looks to take charge of the rallies. She can sometimes dither about her shot selection and tends to go for higher-risk plays.

Swan packs a punch with her serve as her big weapon and a more favoured forehand and she has put an injury-hit year behind her, and has a chance to start working her way back up the rankings.

Experience should be on Keys side though.

Prediction: Keys in three sets.


How to Watch/Follow Wimbledon 2021

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