What a difference a summer makes. Before reaching the Nottingham semi-final, Heather Watson was in danger of dropping out of the Top 200 and seems to be enjoying a resurgence. Not that she made it easy on herself – after a commanding first set, Watson held two match points for a straight sets win, but was broken as Yuliya Hatouka went on to level the match.
Watson held her nerve though to strike early with a break in the third set, and kept the pressure on to close out a win and earns a quarter-final match up against her doubles partner this week, Yanina Wickmayer.
Unbelievably, Wickmayer’s stats come from this one competition, having played a lot of indoor hard court matches since her return after having a baby. Watson’s stats reflect a rollercoaster of a year, but the Brit is a confidence player, and has also been putting in the court time with Wickmayer, as they have also made the quarter-finals in the doubles.
Preview & Prediction
Wickmayer returned to the tour in February having taken 16 months off and has hoovered up titles at the lower tour levels and has been in impressive form in this tournament with two solid performances and straight sets wins.
The Belgian likes to play aggressively and can rely on her serve and flat attacking groundstrokes. However, in the past she could be inconsistent, and lacked variation, despite liking coming in to the net when she feels that she is in a good position to finish off the point.
Watson has developed a more aggressive style of play but still can defend really well, and in general does have a little more variety to he game – but can also be quite inconsistent. This could well be an error and break-fest that takes us the distance.
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