Watson Ends Wait

With her Olympic silver medal and US Open success Laura Robson seemed to have cemented her place as the golden girl of British tennis.

Heather Watson, two years Robson’s senior, had been shunted out of the limelight.

She watched as her rival picked up the plaudits and became the first British woman since 1990 to reach a WTA Tour Final.

She watched and she waited.

Then, when Robson was knocked out of the Japan Open in the quarter finals last week it was Watson who kept the flag flying.

The twenty year old not only matched Robson’s achievement in reaching a tour final but went one better, beating Taiwanese rival Chang Kai-cheng in three sets.

The triumph has catapulted Watson into the world’s top fifty, overtaking Robson as Britain’s number one.

And the Channel Islander will be hoping that this latest success will be a stepping stone to even greater things.

With a third round appearance at Wimbledon already under her belt Watson will be aiming to do even better next year.

But Robson can’t be forgotten, especially given the progress she has already made under acerbic Croatian coach Zeljko Krajan.

Krajan has previously worked with Dinara Safina, masterminding the Rusian’s march to the summit of the women’s game and Robson has credited his tactical nous with improving her skills.

Watson meanwhile has even more distinguished help.

She lives and trains at the famous Bollitieri Tennis Centre under the guidance of Nick Bollitieri himself.

The American has already taken the likes of Becker, Agassi and the Williams sisters under his wing.

But Watson admits that it is Robson’s success which is her greatest motivation, saying, ‘we’re both very competitive…when we see the other doing well, it pushes us.’

Tennis fans nationwide will be hoping that the duo will keep on pushing each other all the way to the top.

It is thirty five years since a British woman won a major title, but it may not be too long before these two inspire each other to compete on that sort of level.

That is something to think about.

 

Charlie Stockton

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