Watson buoyed by stunning comeback


Originally published on: 21/03/12 11:20

Heather Watson will head into her next match at the Sony Ericsson Open with fresh confidence after dazing Sorana Cirstea 6-3 3-6 7-6(4) in the first round in Miami. After losing her grip on the encounter in the second set and going 5-0 down in the third against the world No.48, it looked unlikely that Watson would be basking in the Florida sun for much longer. Yet somehow the 19-year-old from Guernsey, currently ranked 129th, rallied to produce a dazzling comeback that overwhelmed her Romanian opponent.

“When it got to 5-0 I just thought I might as well just go for it,” she told BBC Sport. “I just kept fighting for every single point and, in the end, it worked out in my favour.”

The Brit has suffered disappointing results so far this season. She was unlucky to face the eventual Australian Open winner, Victoria Azarenka, in the first round in Melbourne and was knocked out early at Indian Wells after going down 6-4, 6-4 to Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in the qualifiers.

“I’ve been having a tough season, getting some tough draws,” said Watson. It seems there’ll be no let up in Miami either – if Watson does manage to battle into the third round, her opponent will most likely be top seed Azarenka. Putting aside the fact that the Belarusian is currently riding a 23-0 winning streak and is fresh off the back of winning in Indian Wells, she also has the upper hand in their head to head. The pair have only met twice on the tour, and the world No.1 took comfortable victories in both encounters, one in Eastbourne in 2010 and the other during this year’s Australian Open.

But in order to face the WTA’s woman of the moment, Watson first needs to find a way past Lucie Safarova, the world No.25. Having never faced her on the court before, it remains to be seen what Watson will make of the Czech left-hander. There’s no doubt she will be in for a challenge against an opponent ranked over 100 places above her and with four WTA Tour titles already under her belt. She also reached the quarter-finals of the 2007 Australian Open.

All that being said, Watson has proved she’s no pushover, commenting yesterday after her victory: “I’m just trying to find that confidence and the only way to do that is by fighting through every match I play.”


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.