Heather Watson upbeat about Wimbledon chances as Marcus Willis fairytale continues

Heather Watson believes she’s ready to cause a shock at this year’s Wimbledon.

The British number two took eventual champion Serena Williams the distance in a classic All England Club encounter last year.

And she could meet her again, should they both reach the third round.

“I learned a lot from that experience,” said Watson, ahead of her first round clash with world number 39 Annika Beck, who is ranked 11 places ahead of Watson.

“That match against Serena on centre court was so exciting and I’d love to get that crowd behind me again and feel that support again.

“I’m feeling really positive, I love the grass and I’m fit and healthy, which hasn’t always been the case at Wimbledon.

“I’ve got the belief that, on my day, I can beat anyone.”

Watson is one of seven British players in action at SW19 today with Andy Murray taking on Davis Cup team-mate Liam Broady and women’s number one Johanna Konta facing Monica Puig.

Elsewhere, Aljaž Bedene plays Richard Gasquet while Tara Moore and Katie Swan take on Alison Van Uytvanck and Tímea Babos respectively.

Meanwhile, world number 772 Marcus Willis continued his Wimbledon fairytale as he upset Richard Berankis, a player ranked 718 places above him, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

Willis, who charges £30 an hour for a tennis lesson at his home club in Warwick, came through six rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw for the first time and will now face seven-time champion Roger Federer in the second round.

He was one of only two home players to win on the opening day of The Championships, with Dan Evans beating Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5.

But Laura Robson and Kyle Edmund were both beaten in straight sets, while there were also defeats for James Ward, Alex Ward, Brydan Klein and Naomi Broady.

“It’s got a bit out of hand but I’m enjoying it and hopefully it keeps rolling,” said Willis, who was tweeted congratulations by Murray straight after his victory.

“It’s surreal and ridiculous, Goran Ivanisevic just came and shook my hand and he’s my hero.

“To play Roger Federer will be a dream come true.  I’m going to go out there and try to win the tennis match, though I probably won’t. I’m going to give everything, as I have the last seven matches.

“He’s a complete player and he’s a legend of the game.  I’ve got a lot of respect for him but I’ve got to go out and try to beat him.

“I want to be a top 100 tennis player.  I want this week in and week out.  It’s going to take a lot of hard work and I’ve got a lot of improving to do as well.”

Related Articles