Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Heather Watson and James Ward net progress with their impressive wins

On the rise: Heather Watson has moved into the world's top 50
On the rise: Heather Watson has moved into the world's top 50

Heather Watson and James Ward both booked spots in the main draw of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with impressive wins in qualifying. British number one Watson returns to the top 50 today after making the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto earlier this week.

Her run included a second-round victory over world number 12 Dominika Cibulkova, the joint best win of her career on ranking.

Watson has taken that form with her to Cincinnati and from 1-3 won 11 straight games to defeat Israel's Shahar Peer 6-3 6-0.

Ward only made it into qualifying as an alternate but has more than justified his place with back-to-back victories over top-100 players.

Having beaten German Tobias Kamke in the first round, Ward saw off former world number 12 Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 yesterday.

Ward had to save multiple set points in the first-set tie-break and was an early break down in the second but recovered to post a notable win.

At 150 in the world, Ward is closing in on his highest ranking of 137 and will go into qualifying at the US Open hopeful of making the main draw for the first time.

Meanwhile, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Roger Federer in straight sets to clinch the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada last night.

The Frenchman took the first set 7-5 after taking advantage of a number of Federer errors before sealing the win by taking the second set 7-6 following a tiebreak.

Federer had won his three previous tiebreaks against Tsonga.

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