Wimbledon latest: Heather Watson through to the fourth round at a grand slam for the first time
Heather Watson finally smashed through the glass ceiling by reaching the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time after a drama-filled win over Kaja Juvan at Wimbledon.
Playing at her 12th Wimbledon and in her 43rd major tournament, the British number four thrilled Court One with a landmark 7-6 (6) 6-2 victory.
She may now be 30 and outside the world’s top 100, but from out of nowhere Watson is suddenly enjoying the summer of her career 12 years after making her Wimbledon debut.
Slovenian Juvan, at 69 ranked 40 places above Watson, was a dangerous opponent who had beaten the highly-fancied Beatriz Haddad Maia in round one.
But the 21-year-old folded after Watson edged a nerve-filled first-set tie-break, while the confident Briton won 11 consecutive points as she raced into a 5-0 lead in the second.
There was a Watson-esque wobble at the end – she admitted as much afterwards – but she got over the line with her first match point after five deuces, before collapsing to the turf in delight.
The closest Watson had previously come to the fourth round was here in 2015, when she served for the match against Serena Williams but lost 7-5 in the third.
It wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a bit of drama at the end,” she said
“And wow, what an atmosphere. There is nowhere I would rather be and you guys got me over the line.
“I felt she was playing her best tennis at the end. I wasn’t that nervous. But fourth round for the first time, I’m so happy.”
Watson can at least treat herself to a day off – doubles notwithstanding – after achieving the rare feat of playing singles on each of the first five days this week, as her previous two matches carried over from the day before.
She will face Germany’s Jule Niemeier, the world number 97, for a place in the quarter-finals.
Jabeur makes short work of Parry
Third seed Ons Jabeur once again raced through her latest match at Wimbledon to book a place in the fourth round.
A 6-2 6-3 win over Diane Parry in 68 minutes was the longest amount of time the Tunisian had spent on court at the All England Club this summer but still means she has only played just over three hours in SW19 so far.
Jabeur was in superb touch against her French opponent and showed her full repertoire of tricks on Centre Court with several trademark drop shots able to help her into the last-16.
“It was a great match for me,” the world number two said on court.
“It is tough to play young, talented players like her, especially in a great tournament I love so much, so happy to get it done in two sets and I hope to continue playing this way.”
After racing through her opening two matches with Mirjam Bjorklund and Katarzyna Kawa, a similar pattern emerged in this third-round tie after Jabeur broke three times in the first set.
Parry did eventually get on the board and avoid the bagel with 31 minutes played but a 108mph ace down the middle sealed the opener for the well-backed number three seed.
Teenager Parry had also made the round of 32 at Wimbledon in 2021 and played with more purpose in the second but had no answer to some of Jabeur’s wizardry.
A stunning drop shot after running into the net sealed a key hold and another contributed towards a second break to help the right-hander secure an eighth win in a row on grass.