Watson sets up Toronto clash with Petkovic

By Ros Satar

  • Heather Watson’s winning spree continues as she eased past fellow qualifier Irina Falconi 6-1 6-2
  • Faces Andrea Petkovic for the first time in their career
  • Could be on course for a rematch with Serena Williams since their scintillating Wimbledon clash

TORONTO, CANADA – Heather Watson continued a better run to her US Open Series campaign with another win in Toronto, coasting past Irina Falconi in straight sets 6-1 6-2.

It is a far more confident performance following her surprising first round loss in Washington last week, with two wins in qualification under her belt and the luck of drawing another qualifier in the opening round at the first of the Premier Mandatory tournaments leading up to the US Open.

Watson stamped her authority on the first set, breaking the American twice in the first set to quickly establish a 5-0 lead and serving the first set out confidently to love. She carried on that dominance, breaking twice more at the start of the second set before Falconi fought back and got back one of the breaks. It was not enough, as Watsons battled to another break and indeed saved a break point while she was serving for the match.

Andrea Petkovic tried to put a very difficult clay court season behind her, after food poisoning threw her off her form completely. Although she took a tilt to the quarter-finals in Eastbourne, she was unable to build on that, departing Wimbledon in the third round.

With just a couple of hard fought rounds to her name last week in Stanford, Petkovic had quite a battle on her hands with Canadian wildcard Francoise Abanda, dropping the first set before she finally won out 3-6 6-4 6-2.

Watson has wanted to add a fair bit of aggression to her game but it was pleasing to see, in Eastbourne, that she can still revert to the excellent defensive capabilities she has if things are not working for her. Whereas Petkovic can sometimes struggle to make that adjustment, and generally has a forceful game, and can thus get easily frustrated with herself.

Although 50 places separate the British No. 1 and the German, Watson is on a pleasing roll, but will have to work for the win. She has the game and the tenacity to take the battle to the German, and this is likely to be a three set scrap.

Watson and Petkovic are scheduled on Court 1, not before 2pm (7pm BST) – Follow the match live with Britwatch Tennis Live-Scores.

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