Heather Watson: I can stop Serena Williams at Wimbledon

Ross McLean
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Heather Watson’s victory has set up a third-round clash with world No1 Serena Williams (Source: Getty)
British No1 Heather Watson has vowed to learn from previous failed auditions against seeded players at Wimbledon when she bids to thwart world No1 Serena Williams’s charge towards a calendar grand slam in the third round.
Watson dispatched former world No5 and Australian Open semi-finalist Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, yesterday to set up a third-round tie with five-time Wimbledon champion Williams.
Twenty-time grand slam winner Williams, who brushed aside Hungary’s Timea Babos in the second round, is the overwhelming favourite for the clash as she looks to take the next step towards winning all four Majors in 2015. The 33-year-old reigning US Open champion has already claimed the Australian and French Open titles this year.
But world No59 Watson believes there is potential for an upset, as long as she heeds the harsh lessons from her 2012 Centre Court demise, when she was outclassed by third seed and eventual finalist Agnieszka Radwanska in round three.
“I remember playing that match against Radwanska. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it,” said Watson.
“I remember overplaying totally and thinking she was going to be this amazing player that I’m going to have no chance against. I tried to hit winners on the first ball. That was no good.
“This time around this isn’t my first, second or third Wimbledon. I’ve been here a few times now. I’ve got a feel for playing the top players.

Watson shakes hands with Dantuchova (Source: Getty)

“At the end of the day everybody’s human. Everybody’s going to make mistakes. Everybody is going to have good days and bad days. Having those experiences really help.”
British wildcard Liam Broady, meanwhile, admitted that his brief spell in the Wimbledon spotlight has given his career new-found impetus after crashing out in straight sets to 16th seed David Goffin.
There was to be no repeat of his first-round heroics against Australia’s Marinko Matosevic as world No182 Broady capitulated in the final two sets following a highly competitive opener, succumbing 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, 6-1 to a player 167 places higher in the rankings.
“I’ve got direction again,” said Broady, who was bidding to become the first British wildcard to reach the third round of a grand slam since Andy Murray at Wimbledon in 2005.
“Just to know that I can compete with these best guys and still have so much to improve on and be reasonably tight with Goffin, it’s immensely uplifting.”
Defending champion Novak Djokovic cantered through to the third round with a comprehensive straight-sets victory over Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, and will now face 27th seed Bernard Tomic. French Open champion Stan Wawrinka followed Djokovic’s lead by dismantling Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic, while 2004 champion Maria Sharapova sauntered past qualifier Richel Hogenkamp.

Murray bumped off Centre Court

He may be the main draw for many a Wimbledon attendee but that does not guarantee Andy Murray a spot on Centre Court. The third seed has been bumped to Court No1 for his second-round match against Dutchman Robin Haase today, in favour of contests involving Sabine Lisicki, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Fellow Briton James Ward meets Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic on Court No2.

Ball boy collapses in fierce heat

As temperatures flirted with the tournament record 34.7C, it was not just players feeling the heat. A ball boy needed medical treatment on Court 17 after collapsing during John Isner’s second-round defeat of Matthew Ebden. Officials later reported the boy was feeling better. Ball boys and girls have had their shifts trimmed from an hour to 45 minutes in response to the heatwave.

Seeds Ivanovic and Nishikori out

Shocks have been thin on the ground at SW19 so far this week, but women’s No7 seed Ana Ivanovic became one of the most notable scalps when she fell to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets yesterday. Men’s fifth seed Kei Nishikori also departed prematurely, handing his scheduled second-round opponent Santiago Giraldo a walkover after failing to recover from a niggling calf injury.

Order of play:

Centre Court
▀ McHale v Lisicki [18]
▀ Querrey v Federer [2]
▀ Brown v Nadal [10]
No1 Court
▀ Haase v Murray [3]
▀ Nara v Kvitova [2]
▀ Tsonga [13] v Ramos-Vinolas

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