British No1 Heather Watson insisted that her faith wavered only momentarily despite having to save three match points before powering past France’s Caroline Garcia in her truncated Wimbledon opener yesterday.
Restarting at 1-6, 6-3 after bad light stopped play on Monday evening, the 23-year-old world No64 was teetering on the brink when trailing 5-4, but fought back to edge the decisive set 8-6.
Watson is in second round action today and faces Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova, a former world No5 but who is now languishing 89th in the rankings, while a potential showdown with top seed Serena Williams awaits the winner.
“I only thought for a second that it maybe wasn’t meant to be this time,” said Watson, who has never progressed beyond the third round at Wimbledon.
“But I said, no matter what, if she wants this match, she’s going to have to win it, I’m not going to give it to her. I just stuck in there.”
Fit-again Laura Robson, meanwhile, was adamant that her participation at a first grand slam for 17 months was a gamble worth taking after crashing out 6-4, 6-4 to Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina.
Former British No1 Robson accepted a wildcard entry to this year’s championships despite only making her competitive comeback at Eastbourne last week after a prolonged absence due to wrist and knee problems. “It was a no-brainer in my mind,” said Robson. “The disappointment of not playing here two years in a row outweighed starting at a smaller tournament.”