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Gutted Watson believes she is underachieving

 

By Eleanor Crooks

Heather Watson admitted she had underachieved after falling at the third-round hurdle again at Wimbledon.

The British No.2 has still never made the second week of a Grand Slam, but came close during a three-set thriller with former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka on Centre Court.

Watson took the first set, got blown away in the second and was then edged out in a nip-and-tuck third to lose 3-6 6-1 6-4.

"I was very upset after that match, to lose that one," she said.

"I've been feeling so great about my game, within myself. I just felt like I'd fallen at the same hurdle again. It was tough. I thought it could have gone either way. I was gutted to lose.

"Before when I got to the third round, I was pleased with myself that I'd done well. Now I kind of expect myself to.

"I've been around a while. I know how well I can play. I feel like I'm underachieving at the moment."

In a dramatic final set both players went toe-to-toe, holding serve for the first six games before landing blow after blow with successive breaks.

But at 5-4, Azarenka, the two-time Grand Slam winner playing only her second tournament since the birth of her son Leo, held her nerve to serve out for a memorable win.

Bizarrely, Watson had the chance to get a small measure of revenge straight away, as the pair met on the doubles court.

This time, in the mixed doubles, Watson teamed up with Henri Kontinen to begin the defence of their title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Azarenka and Nenad Zimonjic.

"I definitely didn't want to lose to her twice in one day," added Watson. "So I was very pleased to get through that, and to finish on a good note. I would have wanted to get the singles, though."

Former US Open winner Kim Clijsters suggested while commentating for the BBC that Azarenka was receiving coaching instructions from her team, which is not allowed at Wimbledon.

But Watson said she was unaware of any coaching going on, while Azarenka said: "I honestly don't know what people are talking about I'm one of the players who rarely actually looks at the box. If that was coaching, I guess I missed it."

Jelena Ostapenko has followed up her French Open triumph by getting to the second week at Wimbledon for the first time.

The 13th-seeded Ostapenko reached the fourth round at the All England Club by beating Camila Giorgi of Italy 7-5 7-5.

Ostapenko, who turned 20 last month, had never won a tour-level title until her impressive run at Roland Garros.

The Latvian won the 2014 junior title at Wimbledon.

Belfast Telegraph

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