Watson pays price for sluggish start

Great Britain's Heather Watson, left, shakes hands with winner Germany's Angelique Kerber

Great Britain's Heather Watson, left, shakes hands with winner Germany's Angelique Kerber

First published in Sport
Last updated

OUTCLASSED, outlasted and ultimately out - Heather Watson admitted the pressure got to her after her Wimbledon campaign ended yesterday.

Defeat to Germany’s Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, leaves Andy Murray as the sole standard bearer of British tennis in the singles draw - a role he’s grown accustomed to performing with distinction at the All England Club.

And it will serve as a valuable lesson for Watson, who paid the price for her sluggish start.

The British number one only knows one way to play - and that’s going at her opponents, showing no mercy, being aggressive - it’s the brand of tennis trademarked at Nick Bollettieri’s fabled academy in Florida.

However, sometimes it pays to play the percentages and that was the difference yesterday.

Watson has never beaten a top ten ranked player and ninth seed Kerber, a semi-finalist her two years ago, had a game plan that she exploited, proving that the ability to outthink a rival is often more valuable than simply outmuscling them.

“I’ve got start playing good from the beginning, from the first point,” admitted Watson.

“I was very tentative and I missed a lot of easy balls.

I wasn’t making a lot of first serves.

“I’m glad that I got into it and started playing better.

The second set I kept fighting through and I found my way.

“I think from both of us there was some unbelievable tennis. In the third set I felt I was still playing well, but I didn’t take my chances. I had a lot of game points but missed some easy balls and you can’t do that against a player like her.

“I just want to play like that more consistently now. I know I can play well but I must start learning to take my opportunities.”

Meanwhile, top seed Serena Williams took only 49 minutes to dispose of the South African Chanelle Scheepers to secure her progress with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

Maria Sharapova is Serena’s likely quarter-final date. Timea Bacsinszky was swotted aside 6-2, 6-1 by Sharapova.

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