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.