Bloomberg News

Watson Is First British Woman in Wimbledon Third Round in Decade

June 27, 2012

For a change, it’s not just Andy Murray British tennis fans are cheering on at Wimbledon.

Heather Watson’s 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Jamie Hampton of the U.S. has made her the first British woman to advance to the third round of Wimbledon since Elena Baltacha in 2002.

Watson told reporters after her match she’d been telling herself not to double-fault as she served on her third match point.

“You’re not supposed to say it, but for me it helps,” the 20-year-old said. “As soon as that last point is over for me, it’s kind of like an explosion of happiness, relief of the match, all that tension’s kind of gone and it’s setting in.”

After the 100th-ranked Hampton hit a forehand into the net, Watson screamed and jumped around Court 2, applauded by Fed Cup coach Judy Murray and representatives from Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association.

Watson’s win came as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the All England Club, watching six-time champion Roger Federer of Switzerland beat Fabio Fognini of Italy from the royal box at Centre Court. It was Prince Charles’s first visit to Wimbledon since 1970.

Two days ago, Watson set another record, becoming the first British woman to win a match in Centre Court at Wimbledon since Jo Durie in 1985 when she beat Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

Watson, who grew up on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, trains at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Wild Card

The 103rd-ranked Watson is one of three British women still in the tournament. Baltacha yesterday beat Italy’s Karin Knapp in three sets to move to the second round. Baltacha, who is ranked 101st, cried in the arms of Judy Murray after being told she had been granted a wild card to play at London 2012 and would become an Olympian. Her soccer player father Sergei competed for the Soviet Union at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Murray’s straight-sets win over Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko yesterday marked the most successful Wimbledon start for Britain since 2006, when seven U.K. players made it to the second round. Anne Keothavong and James Ward also won their opening rounds yesterday, making five so far.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh at Wimbledon through the London sports desk at drossingh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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