WINNING: Watson celebrates her hard-fought victory
HOPES OF winning the women’s 2013 Ausralian Open are still alive for Heather Watson. The 20-year-old defied the odds, beating Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan to reach the third round of the tournament, despite facing three match points in a second set tie-break.
Watson, the British number one, won 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2. The match lasted three hours and two minutes on an extremely hot Australian day on Court Eight.
In the next round Watson will have to be at the peak of her game as she faces in-form Agnieszka Radwanska, who has been seeded fourth.
Ranked world number 50, Watson will go into the tie as the definite underdog, however she can take pride in reaching the next stage with a demonstration of resilient spirit triumphing over a tennis performance which lacked finesse at times.
RELIEF: Watson does not hide her emotions
“I do make it hard for myself but a win's a win, no matter how you do it,” Watson told BBC Radio 5 live.
“It was a very tough one today. I wasn't sure whether I was going to get through it but I did, I kept fighting, the crowd was amazing and kept pushing me on from start to finish, and I've put myself in a position to play another match here.
“You’ve just got to keep fighting and fighting, because it's never over until that last point's done”, the Guernsey-born player added.
Concerning her defeated 21-year-old opponent, Watson said: “She’s a tough opponent, she makes every single ball. I didn't win a point until the eight or ninth point of the match. She wasn't going to give me anything, but you've just got to fight through and find a way.”
Pervak, ranked 82nd in the world, had the better opening and seemed destined to claim victory, but with defeat looming, Watson appeared to relax, enabling her to play better tennis.
Watson made 65 unforced errors to Pevak’s 57 – the Kazakh managed 75 percent of her first serves; 10 percent better than Watson’s 65 percent.
FOREHANDER: Watson powers a shot on Court Eight