EASTBOURNE, England - British wildcard Heather Watson took down Barbora Strycova in a three-set thriller to return to the Eastbourne semifinals for the first time since 2014.
Just hours after defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Watson recovered strongly to post a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 victory over Strycova.
“Where do I even start, it’s been such a long day,” Watson laughed in her post-match interview. “I played two matches today, and I think I played really well against really tough opponents.
“Barbora is especially tricky because she’s very handsy, she’s got lots of drop shots I just had to keep fighting. I knew she was going to throw something different at me and she did. I’m just really pleased to get through that one. It was a big fight.”
The victory is not just Watson’s first semifinal on grass, but it sends her into her first WTA semifinal of 2017.
“I have been waiting on it and it's come now,” she said. "The last couple of months I have really been putting in the work on and off the court, and I felt really good on the court in practice, and it's just building that confidence and momentum with match wins.
“I have had a few [good results] here and there, and now it's just really come together and I feel great on the match court. I feel confident. I feel like I'm moving well, seeing the ball well, and being aggressive."
Up next for Watson will be No.6 seed Caroline Wozniacki, who took down Simona Halep earlier in the day. She’s bidding to reach her first WTA final since the Abierto Monterrey in 2016.
“Caroline is obviously a great player and a great athlete. Her strength, her movement, her quickness, how she reads the game. I'm not going to be able to rely on her missing balls, because she's very consistent.
“I'm going to have to go out there and keep coming to the net like I have been and throwing some junk around. I look forward to playing her again.”