On her way to the third round of the tournament in Miami, Heather Watson picked up impressive straight set victories against Sloane Stephens and Petra Cetkovska. Meanwhile, Yanina Wickmayer had played very well in both her previous matches in the tournament. One of her victories was a straight sets victory over the world number fifteen Lucie Safarova.
Wickmayer and Watson had played each other on three previous occasions. Wickmayer won all of these matches, so she came into the match with the knowledge that she can beat Watson. In this match Watson would have been hoping to finally get a victory over Wickmayer, and after a three set battle she had done just that.
Wickmayer Overcomes Battling Watson To Take The First Set
Wickmayer got off to a great start in the match, as she raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set. The Belgian opened the match by comfortably holding her serve, before finding herself with three break point opportunities soon after. Wickmayer capitalized on her first chance to take a lead in the match, as she utilized her first break point opportunity, to break Watson to love. Wickmayer then put herself in an even more commanding position as she consolidated the break of service.
Watson eventually got herself onto the scoreboard in the fourth game of the set. The British player, found a way to slow the momentum of Wickmayer so that she could hold her serve and win her first game in the set. Watson then made the most of her third break point opportunity to break Wickmayer and put the set back on serve.
The comeback from Watson was soon ended as she failed to consolidate the break of serve. Wickmayer stemmed any confidence Watson may have gained from winning the previous two game, as she broke to love once again. Both players then went on to break the other player in the next two games. Watson broke Wickmayer to love before failing to back up the break once more.
Wickmayer found herself 5-3 up, which put her in the position to serve for the set. The Belgian player did not faulter, as she took the set with her very first opportunity.
Watson Capitalizes on Wickmayer's Failure To Take Her Chances
The second set nearly got off to a poor start for Watson, as she faced break point in the opening game. Watson saved the break point before going on to hold her serve. Wickmayer was left ruing the missed opportunity to break Watson, as she lost her service in the next game. Watson capitalized on her chance to break Wickmayer to put herself in a strong position in the set.
Like in the first set, one break of serve brought along a series of breaks. Over the next three games, both Watson and Wickmayer broke their opponents serve with their first chance. With Watson leading 3-2 and the set being back on serve, Wickmayer managed to find a way to hold her service for the first time in the set.
From here, Wickmayer and Watson held their service games with relative ease, and there was not another break point chance until the ninth game. During this game, Wickmayer had three separate opportunities to break Watson's serve. However, Watson managed to save them all before eventually winning the game herself.
Wickmayer then had another opportunity to put herself in a commanding position in the match. The Belgian failed to capitalize on the two break point opportunites that she had in the eleventh game. If Wickmayer did capitalize on the chances she had, she would have put herself in the position to serve for the set, instead the Belgian had to serve to stay in the set.
After fending off another two break points, Watson was full of confidence. This was shown as the British player broke Wickmayer with her first break point opportunity. By winning the game, Watson leveled the score and took the match to a decisive third set.
Watson Gets The Only Break To Win The Match
Both players were unwilling to give their opponent any chances to gain momentum in the set. Wickmayer and Watson held their two opening service games with ease. The first break point opportunities came in the fifth game and were for Wickmayer. Once again, the Belgian could not make the most of her chances, which allowed Watson to hold her serve.
Watson and Wickmayer continued to win on their service games and it looked highly unlikely that either player would find a way to break their opponents serve. In the eigth game of the set, Watson did manage to break Wickmayer's serve. The British player made the most of her first break point opportunity of the set, to win the game and put herself ahead in the set.
This break of serve gave Watson the chance to serve for the match. The 23-year-old did not faulter as she comfortably held her service game. Watson took the game, set and match on the first time of asking, completing her comeback.
By winning the match, Watson progresses into the fourth round where she will face Simona Halep.