French Open 2012: Heather Watson returns to ‘Happy Land’ with straight sets defeat of Elena Vesnina

May 29th, 20122:23 pm @


To Watson’s own mind, the big difference between 2012 and 2011 lay in her
composure. “I was so, so nervous against Foretz,� she said. “I
remember I had three double faults in the game when I served for the match.
This year I controlled my emotions a lot better. I felt more confident. I’m
growing as a player now.”

There can be no doubt about that. By contrast to the heavy-hitting but
somewhat immobile Laura Robson, Watson has always been a wonderful mover
around the court, whether sprinting at full pace or taking little cat-like
steps to get herself in the perfect position.

But today she also whacked down five aces, outpacing her taller opponent on
the speed gun. “I’ve been working to become a lot more aggressive, and
just add to my game,” said Watson. “Because I have good defensive
skills and I can move well, but I want to be aggressive.”

After coming through qualifying without dropping a set, Watson is on a
terrific roll, but she will need to go up another level on Thursday against
Julia Goerges of Germany, the world No 27. Goerges really does have a big
serve, touching 125mph in her comfortable win over Lucie Hradecka this

It is a big hurdle, but if Watson could take another major scalp, and actually
improve on her second-round loss to Kaia Kanepi here last year, that would
bump her inside the top 100.

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