It’s been a tough old year for British number 3, Heather Watson. The Brit has dropped to behind Jo Konta and Katie Boulter in the nation’s standings. At the National Bank Cup, Quebec her recent upturn in form is gathering needed momentum.
Heather Watson’s Finally Showing Some Form This Season
Heather Watson now holds an impressive 10-2 recent record coming into this contest against 27 year old Canadian Rebecca Marino. It was a tense, no-holds barred contest in which Watson prevailed 6-3, 6-4, to reach the semis.
Edgy Opening from Both Watson and Marino
Both players tried desperately to avoid that losing feeling, something they have each felt too often this season. Watson has shown more than a hint of her old spark. She beat #4 seen Mona Niculescu in the first round, following this up with an assured victory over bright prospect, 16 year old Leylah Annie Fernadez. For the first time in a while, thoughts about a fourth WTA title for Watson are not out of place.
Watson Settles earliest, but the Marino groove unsettles her
Neither player could galvanise any sort of potency on serve to dominate early on. An exchange of breaks and service holds restores parity at 2-2 in the first set. A lack of any real confidence seems to be a big factor. The first set becomes dominated by 2nd serve, with both players not really reaching the first serve potency level they are capable of. With a 63% second serve points won for Watson, compared to a mere 32% for Marino it told the story of the set that the Brit took 6-3.
Watson Address First Serve Issues in Second Set
A sturdier, more solid first serve in the second set, helps Watson take it 6-4 and with it – the match. Watson grew in confidence throughout this match. Her game is returning. However, she needs to hit a first serve groove sooner than she has done against Marino, but it’s looking like a promising end to the season is in store for the Brit.
Watson & Marino Still Have Aspirations of Bettering Their Joint Career High of #38
Both players share a career high of 38, with aspirations of getting back to it. For Marino it was way back in 2011 that she hit those heights. However, Marino showed enough in this match to show that she could be back on the rise also. It was 2015 when Watson hit these hits and many thought at the time she could go higher.
Watson’s Hard work and Sticking at it Continues to Bear Fruit
It’s been a long hard season for Watson. Pauline Parmentier or Varvara Lepchenko await Watson in the semis. Heather Watson holds a 2-1 head-to-head advantage over Lepchenko, but both of those victories were on grass. The Russian won the only previous hard-court contest. You have to go back to 2012 to find the only contest between Watson and the resurgent 32 year old, Pauline Parmentier. Watson won that match, but Parmentier is always a dangerous opponent.