Joy for wide-awake Heather Watson win

Despite a bad night's sleep 20-year-old races to victory and is first British woman in third round for 10 years

Wimbledon

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago Heather Watson was in tears after what she called "the hardest defeat of my professional career", having suffered an elbow injury when she appeared to be on the way to her first Wimbledon victory.

Yesterday the 20-year-old from Guernsey wore a smile as broad as the English Channel as she became the first British woman to reach the third round here for 10 years. A 6-1, 6-4 victory over Jamie Hampton, of the United States, sent Watson through to a third-round meeting tomorrow with Agnieszka Radwanska, the world No 3.

Two days after becoming the first British woman to win a match on Centre Court for 27 years, Watson won so emphatically on No 2 Court, where play began at 11.30am, that she was back in the locker room before a ball had been struck on the main show courts. Hampton, ranked three places higher than her at No 100, was outplayed for long periods as the Briton kept the American on the run with the intelligence of her play.

Although the draw has been kind to Watson, who should climb about 20 places in the world rankings on the basis of her latest win, she has won both her matches with a confidence that belied the fact that she had never previously won a match here. Hampton, moreover, had beaten Daniela Hantuchova, the world No 29 and a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist, in the first round.

Watson was 5-0 up in 20 minutes, had the first set in the bag eight minutes later and was soon 2-0 up in the second. Hampton, finding a better rhythm, pushed harder in the latter stages and saved a match point when serving at 3-5. Watson served a double-fault on her second match point in the following game but kept her composure to see out the victory, which she celebrated with a joyful dance in the middle of the court and a smile that could have melted the ice in a thousand Pimm's.

"As soon as that last point was over for me, it was like an explosion of happiness," she said later. "I just love it when the crowd is so loud at the end. It's an amazing feeling. That's why I play tennis, for those moments."

The world No 103 was so keen to please that in her post-match press conference she seemed reluctant to disappoint a Scottish journalist who wondered whether her name indicated any connections north of the border. "My Dad is from Manchester and my Mum is from Papua New Guinea, so no," she said, almost apologetically.

Watson has been based at Nick Bollettieri's academy in Florida since she was 12. She won the US Open junior title three years ago and loves the big occasion. Last year she became the first British woman for 28 years to come through qualifying at the French Open and went on to become the first to win a match in the main draw for 17 years. Later in the summer she went within six points of beating Maria Sharapova in the first round of the US Open.

Asked whether the prospect of facing the world No 3 tomorrow was "exciting or terrifying", Watson said: "Oh, definitely not terrifying. It's exciting. I'm looking forward to it. I'm in the third round now. I'm relaxed about it, as well."

Watson had slept poorly after the excitement of her first-round win and admitted that "last night wasn't great either". She added: "This whole week I've been sleeping pretty bad, but if I keep playing like this, I don't really mind.

"I always knew I could play this well, that I could get far in these tournaments, but it's different playing like that in practice to bringing it on to the match court at big occasions with pressure. I'm just pleased that it's finally clicking for me. I'm still quite new to the tour. I've only been on it a few years now. I'm learning every day. I'm glad that finally I'm bringing what I've been doing in practice to the match court.

"I've been known as a counter-puncher, good at moving and reading the game well, and I wanted to get to the next step, improve my game. If you want to get to the next level, you have to change things. I've been working with my coach and Nick [Bollettieri] at being more aggressive, coming to the net. I can volley. I love to volley. I probably volleyed once today and missed it. I've been working on being more aggressive. And especially on the grass, you have to be."

Elena Baltacha, who was the last British woman to reach the third round here, and Anne Keothavong, the British No 1, will attempt to join Watson in the third round today but both face top 10 opposition. Baltacha meets Petra Kvitova, the defending champion, while Keothavong takes on Italy's Sara Errani, who reached the final of the French Open three weeks ago.

 



Rule Britannia? how our boys and girls are doing

Men

Andy Murray Second round v I Karlovic (Cro)

Oliver Golding Lost in first round v I Andreev (Rus) 1-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-5

Josh Goodall Lost in first round v G Zemlja (Slvn) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 7-4

Jamie Baker Lost in first round v A Roddick (US) 7-6, 6-4, 7-5

James Ward Second round v M Fish (US)

Women

Johanna Konta Lost in first round v C McHale (US) 6-7, 6-2, 10-8

Naomi Broady Lost in first round v L D Lino (Sp) 6-4, 7-6

Elena Baltacha Second round v P Kvitova (Cz Rep)

Anne Keothavong Second round v S Errani (It)

Laura Robson Lost in first round v F Schiavone (It)

Heather Watson Third round v A Radwanska (Pol)

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit