Watson Wins Wild Memphis Opener

Heather Watson got past Galina Voskoboeva in a match that went well past three hours at the US National Indoor Tennis Championships.

Published February 17, 2013 11:49

Watson Wins Wild Memphis Opener
Heather Watson

MEMPHIS, TN, USA - The first main draw match at the 2013 US National Indoor Tennis Championships was one for the ages, as Heather Watson survived Galina Voskoboeva in a three-hour, 24-minute marathon.

In her 75 57 76(4) triumph, the fourth-seeded Watson rallied from a 5-2 first set deficit, lost the second set, then went up 5-1 in the third set, lost five straight games and seized the momentum one final time.

"Today's match was definitely a rollercoaster," Watson said. "I was not really finding my strokes and my game in the first set, but I was able to win it. And in the second set, I feel like I was in control the whole time, but just wasn't able to win it. In the third set, I was 5-1 up and Galina started playing really well, playing free, hitting winners, and it ended up going to a tie-break. It was a really tight one, but I'm so glad I was able to get through it."

In an upset on paper but no real surprise, Coco Vandeweghe fired nine aces and converted on six of eight break point chances in her 62 61 rout of No.6 seed Chanelle Scheepers. Vandeweghe is now 3-0 in her series with the South African, without having dropped a set.

"I played well today," Vandeweghe said. "My goal was to start strong because I am feeling a bit under the weather, but I wanted to stay positive and the adrenaline helped pull me through today.

"I played Chanelle a few times, so I knew what to expect. With these fast courts here in Memphis, the goal is to serve well and return well and keep striking off the first ball, and I did that today."

Also advancing in routine fashion was seventh-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova, 63 61, over Stéphanie Foretz Gacon. The 2011 Memphis champion is now 4-0 against the Frenchwoman.

"Obviously the first match of a tournament is never easy," Rybarikova said. "I think I played quite well, especially my serve and forehand, but it can always be better."

Next up for the Slovak is American Lauren Davis, a 57 61 63 winner over Ksenia Pervak in two hours, 42 minutes.

Securing main draw berths with victories in the final round of qualifying were Madison Keys, Jana Cepelova, Maria Sanchez and Claire Feuerstein.

Two-time Memphis champion Sofia Arvidsson is among those on Monday's schedule.

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