After a generally upbeat start to 2015 for Britain's number one, Heather Watson, she continued to make solid progress on the WTA tour this week by reaching the second round of the Miami Open event. To do so she had to not only endure the stifling heat on court, but also find a way past her obdurate opponent, Russia's Evgeniya Rodina. She conquered both challenges admirably despite losing the first set, in her three-set victory 3-6 6-1 7-5. The win ensured a second round match-up with Germany's Angelique Kerber, ranked world number 15.
On paper it looked as though the Guernsey-born player could expect few issues against an adversary ranked just 96 in the world (compared to Watson's 41), but British #Tennis fans are learning to take the rough with the smooth as far as their elite athletes in the tennis world are concerned. Watson also had to get over any psychological issues she may have had in facing a player who had beaten her on their two previous meetings.
Rodina had survived qualifying in Miami, just to make the first round proper, so was attuned to the conditions and surface. She demonstrated what she had learned by blitzing the diminutive Watson in the early stages, storming to a 4-0 advantage. It wasn't long before the first set was in the bag for the 26-year-old Russian.
Even after the disappointment of losing that first set, there seems to be a renewed optimism surrounding Watson's chances of being successful these days. Her second set performance epitomised that new found belief and an early break of serve put her back on the right track, allowing her to ultimately level the match at one set apiece with some style.
The decider also looked to be well within the Brit's grasp as she gained a 5-2 lead, but back came the determined Russian to level again at 5-5. Watson rallied as the momentum switched back her way again to hold serve, piling the pressure on to her rival and forcing her to hold her own service to stay in the contest. For once Rodina 'buckled' and Watson stepped in to wrap up the set 7-5 with another break.
Watson will hope to build on this victory and her ground-breaking success against the top ten-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska last week at the Indian Wells event, when she meets the tough Kerber. #Celebrities