Indian Wells 2015: Heather Watson takes biggest scalp of her career so far in Agnieszka Radwanska

Andy Murray got his Indian Wells campaign off to a promising start with a resounding 6-1, 6-3 victory over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil

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Heather Watson is through to the fourth round at Indian Wells after claiming the biggest victory of her career last night. The 22-year-old Briton’s 6-4, 6-4 win in the Californian desert over Agnieszka Radwanska, the world No 8, was her first over a top-10 opponent and came at one of the tour’s biggest tournaments below Grand Slam level.

After her splendid start to the year, when she claimed the title in Hobart, Watson had failed to win a main-draw match in two months until she played her opener in Indian Wells last week. After victories over Julia Görges and Camila Giorgi, she took a major scalp with her victory over Radwanska, a former Wimbledon finalist who has been one of the most consistent performers on the women’s tour in recent years.

Watson had not won a set in her three previous tour-level matches against Radwanska but quickly took control of their meeting on the second show court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The world No 43 served well and broke Radwanska’s serve at the first attempt. The Pole quickly broke back only to drop serve again, after which Watson served out for the set, winning it with an ace.

Radwanska, who recently recruited Martina Navratilova to her coaching team, made a spirited recovery in the second set, winning four games in a row to go 4-2 up. Watson, however, broke for the fourth and fifth times in the match before serving out for victory after an hour and a half. The 22-year-old from Guernsey hit seven aces and dropped only nine points when her first serve found the court.


“Aga is a fantastic player,” Watson said afterwards. “I’ve played her quite a few times and she’s beaten me pretty comfortably every single time, so I knew I was going to have to bring my A-game and play my very best and that’s what I did. The crowd definitely helped me today. I absolutely love it here. What’s not to love?”

Watson, who had lost all 11 of her previous matches against top-10 opponents, will now face the winner of last night’s later match between Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro and Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Andy Murray got his Indian Wells campaign off to a promising start with a resounding 6-1, 6-3 victory over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. The world  No 4 said the hot conditions had been very different to his previous match six days earlier, when he beat John Isner on an indoor court in Scotland to secure Britain’s Davis Cup victory over the United States.

“In comparison with Glasgow, it was way, way harder to control the ball,” Murray said. “Even from the back of the court balls were getting up really, really high. I thought I played quite a smart match, played solid. I didn’t go for too much, but I also felt like when we were in the rallies I was dictating them, keeping him pinned in his backhand corner, and pushing him further and further away from the baseline.”

Murray next plays Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber, the world No 29. Their most recent meeting was at last year’s French Open, where Murray won their third-round match by taking the fifth set 12-10.