Heather Watson Beats Evgeniya Rodina in Miami Open

British number one Heather Watson came from behind to beat Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina 3-6 6-1 7-5 in their epic first round encounter in the Miami Open. Despite incredibly hot and humid conditions, the 22-year-old, who is ranked number 41 in the world, dug deep to recover after going a set down to the Russian.

And after dominating the second set 6-1, Watson built up a commanding 5-2 lead before the 26-year-old, who is ranked 96th in the world, clawed her way back to 5-5 in the decider. However, the Briton held her nerve to reach the second round after a thrilling two hours and 23 minutes of tennis. We take a look at Watson’s chances of winning the competition and what this result could mean for her future in the sport. For further news on Watson and tennis in general, you could check out Coral’s news page.

She showed her tenacity and ‘never say die’ attitude

After losing the opening set so convincingly to a qualifier, Watson could easily have thrown in the towel and decided to give up. However, she dug deep and showed her grit and determination – both excellent traits to have in sport – to earn an excellent victory. Her performance in the Indian Wells last week was promising, and she appears to be in a buoyant mood for a decent run in this latest tournament. The 22-year-old is Britain’s only female player to be ranked in the top 150 players and any hopes of success lay on her shoulders after Laura Robson opted out of entering the tournament. If she continues to show that level of determination, she will continue to rise up the rankings in the future.

She faces a tough encounter in the next round

Watson will now face German Angelique Kerber in round two. Kerber is currently ranked 15th in the world – and seeded 13th for the Miami Open – and will prove a difficult opponent for the British number one. Kerber beat Watson in three sets at Wimbledon last year, but Watson will be full of confidence heading into the clash after her recent performances. Just last week, the 22-year-old beat world number eight Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets to advance to the last-16. Although Kerber has dropped out of the world’s top 10 players, she is still a formidable opponent and Watson will need to be at her very best in order to beat her.


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