Category Archives: Heather Watson

British Women To Rule The World In 2011

The 2011 British Fed Cup team was named today, with Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson and Laura Robson all called up to represent the country next year. Considering Britain have forever found themselves falling at the final hurdle in the Fed Cup competition, could these additions be what the team need to push them that one step further?

On a separate note, in light of all the AO Wildcard playoffs going on in the US and Australia, I feel like Wimbledon need to hurry up and get their own reciprocal arrangement with the other slams. I get that we haven’t had too many good juniors in recent times, but it could have provided both Heather and Laura with the opportunity to experience the main draw of a slam away from all of the pressures and drama that come with being a Brit at Wimbledon. But as usual, instead of making decisions based on common sense and for the benefit of their players, the LTA/Wimbledon Committe/whoever it is continue to make these decisions based on the old pretentious country club tradition. A shame.

Posted in British Tennis, Fed Cup, Heather Watson, Laura Robson | 1 Comment

It’s Junior Watch, Y’all: Dimitrov, Watson, Gavrilova, Stephens and RoGOATska Make Progress

Grigor Dimitrov just keeps on improving. After his title in Geneva last month, he flew to Bangkok and knocked off another title. Subsequently, he has risen into the top 150 for the first time ever and is now the youngest player in the top 150. This week he continues his Bangkok adventures at another $35k event, and he has reached the semi-finals thus far. He seems to be intent on taking his time to slowly rise up the ranks, but it would be good to see him playing in the Bangkok 250 event next week. He will be tired, but it will show him where his game is really at and what he still needs to improve over the coming months.

I doubt many of you have heard of him, but another standout young star this week has been Belgium’s David Goffin. He actually reached the top ten in the Junior rankings around the same time as Grigor himself, but he has struggled to really made a dent on the ATP tour. Before this week, that is. Having defeated 5th-seeded Eric Prodon in the first round of the Ljublijana $35k event, he has since navigated his way through a tricky set of players to reach his first semi-final berth. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Over on the Women’s Circuit, the young stars in action this week are aplenty. Heather Watson defeated Sabine Lisicki in Shrewsbury to reach her first $75k quarterfinal. Though she lost in the next round, she will be inside the top 200 for the first time in her career, and the new British #4. Pretty good for someone who was unranked 14 months ago, no?

Over in the Albuquerque $75k, both Sloane Stephens and Daria Gavrilova brushed aside older and higher-ranked youngsters. Sloane demolished 6th-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-0 while Youth Olympics, Junior #1 and US Open Champion Dasha took out Michelle Larcher De Brito to record the biggest win of her career. Both girls seem to be making headway now and are catching up with their peers. The tour better watch out.

Finally, Olivia Rogowska seems to be finally coming round. She fell into a deep slump following her close loss to the then-world number one Safina at last year’s US Open, but after winning a $25k last week, you have to hope and believe that the confidence is slowly coming back.

Posted in Dasha Gavrilova, Grigor Dimitrov, Heather Watson, Juniors, Olivia RoGOATska, Sloane Stephens | 2 Comments

E-boks Danish Open report — Day Two!

Hi again! This is day two of my blog at the Wozniacki Open. I got to the venue at about 10am and I was interested to see how Anna-Lena Grönefeld’s injury has affected her game and she was definitely very rusty. Her opponent Irena Pavlovic has a great serve and plays double-handed on both sides. She was dictating the rallies but lacked a finishing shot and made far too many easy errors. Grönefeld made the second set unnecessarily close after three error-filled games in a row but she regrouped and hit some lovely winners at the end to take the match.

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The second match was the one match I had really been looking forward to - Heather Watson vs. Eleni Daniilidou. I was seated behind Heather’s mother who was extremely nice and chatty throughout. The first set was great; the rallies were long and intense and Watson dominated the rallies and moved the ball around impressively. Daniilidou was slicing and doing her best to neutralize the point and frustrate the youngster. The first game of set two was a marathon game which took around 20 minutes before Watson was broken and it seemed to knock her spirit as she became physically and mentally tired. Daniilidou was tired too, but she refused to miss as Watson yelled and was visibly frustrated. A foot fault was called on Daniilidou’s second serve on match point and she was clearly angry but eventually recovered to take the match on her third match point.  A disappointing result for Heather, but it’s clear that she has a lot of talent. She volleys well, plays with a lot of variety plus her movement and anticipation are both already so good.

I only watched the first set of Domachowska vs. Arefyeva as I had to begin my trek towards Center Court to see Chakvetadze. Domachowska was hitting the ball as hard as she possibly could and Arefyeva couldn’t cope with the power. She played a few good volleys but the match was really only about Domachowska. At *5-2, Domachowska began to spray errors and the score was quckly back to 5-5. Arefyeva was in a generous mood though and so she gifted the last two games to Marta with a bunch of unforced errors. I knew I had seen more than enough after that set of tennis and so I left and began the long journey towards Center Court.

I was looking forward to watching Chakvetadze but it turned out to be quite a disappointment. She was making a lot of sloppy errors and Kosinska was even worse, with a horrible attitude to boot. Chakvetadze was far from her best today, but I’m expecting her to step it up when she plays a more capable opponent.

I got to the match between Bovina and Cravero  at 6-3 3-0. Bovina was even more motivated than yesterday (and yesterday she was scary). She was cheering loudly and screaming ‘lichna’, ‘come on come on’ and even a hilarious ‘davai davai come on lichna’ combination in one breath.

I wasn’t planning on staying around for the match between Eleni Daniilidou and Vitalia Diatchenko but, well, I did. It was pretty grim as Diatchenko was hitting a lot of errors and almost put the whole crowd to sleep; me included. However it all changed as Daniilidou began to lose her temper over some close calls. At one point Diatchenko hit a ball which Daniilidou thought was out and she screamed; “OUUUUUUT! THE BALL WAS OUUUUUUT - THIS IS A KINDERGARTEN! OPEN YOUR EYES!” and suddenly I was wide awake. She even shouted at the linejudge on the other side of the net for not calling foot faults on Diatchenko. The drama continued to flow and then at 6-3 *5-4 30-30 to Daniilidou, Diatchenko hit a winner which was clearly on the line to which Daniilidou once again yelled “OUUUUUUT!” Incredibly, the chair umpire then changed his mind and decided to raise his finger and exclaim “the ball was out!” pathetically. After that incident there was a huge argument but eventually Daniilidou took (stole?) the point and then next one to close out her second win of the day. Got to love the WTA!

Other remarks:

- Katarina Srebotnik seems to be very lonely. Most players are surrounded by coaches, family or other players or their coaches, but I have only seen her on her own. Yesterday she walked past Poutchek and tried to say ‘hey’, but Poutchek completely ignored her and walked on. Poor girl!

- Pavlovic was wearing one of Sharapova’s dresses.

- Keothavong almost bumped into me as she was walking and texting at the same time. I smiled as she looked up but all I got in return was a dirty look.

- The ball kids were disappointed with Watson’s loss. Apparently because she “looked like that Disney girl”. Hmmm..

- On Centre Court, the players have a designer sofa, trash can and fridge with a variety of different drinks. On Court One they have a green plastic chair, a laundry basket for trash and an old, dirty fridge which can’t even shut properly.

- Kvitova and Vögele were jogging and practicing together.

- Cravero was openly mocking Bovina’s cheering as Wörle, cheering on Cravero from the sidelines, was laughing at Bovina.

- Bovina’s skirt kept falling down and so she ended up changing it on court – Jankovic style.

- I heard a boy asking a member of staff when Wozniacki would be practising. They told him that it was a secret and nobody knew because she has to be guarded from the public…

- Sofia Arvidsson and others were joking about the fact that Caroline has her own parking spot at the venue:

The main draw starts tomorrow so not only may I get my first glimpse of Miss Wozniacki, but I will be writing about people that you actually know! Stay tuned.

Posted in Heather Watson, Tournament Blogs, WTA Off court | 2 Comments

Heather Watson clinches first Challenger title

Young British star Heather Watson has won her first challenger event in Wrexham by defeating top seed and former top-30 player Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-4. Watson had been forced to withdraw from the Woking $25k tournament a week earlier because of a stomach tear which she had sustained at the Eastbourne WTA tournament and an injury which she played with during her three set loss to Romina Oprandi at Wimbledon. Now back to full fitness, Watson looked in majestic form all week as she swept to the title without losing a set or even being pushed to a 7-5 set. As a result of this win,  the 2009 US Open Junior Champion will catapult into the top 220 for the first time in her career.

This year has been the Brit’s first full year on tour and she has had to play catch up to many of her contemporaries who have been playing professionally from as young as fourteen years old.  Watson will hope to continue the form that has seen her rise 371 ranking spots since the beginning of the year when she travels to Copenhagen to compete for a place in the main draw for the e-boks Danish Open, a Sony Ericsson WTA International event.

Posted in Heather Watson, News | Leave a comment