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HEATHER WATSON finally smashed through the glass ceiling by reaching the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time after a drama-filled win over Kaja Juvan at Wimbledon today.
Playing at her 12th Wimbledon and in her 43rd major tournament, the British number four thrilled Court One with a landmark 7-6 (6) 6-2 victory.
She may now be 30 and outside the world’s top 100, but from out of nowhere Watson is suddenly enjoying the summer of her career 12 years after making her Wimbledon debut.
Slovenian Juvan, at 69 ranked 40 places above Watson, was a dangerous opponent who had beaten the highly fancied Beatriz Haddad Maia in round one.
But the 21-year-old folded after Watson edged a nerve-filled first-set tie-break, while the confident Briton won 11 consecutive points as she raced into a 5-0 lead in the second.
There was a Watson-esque wobble at the end — she admitted as much afterwards — but she got over the line with her first match point after five deuces, before collapsing to the turf in delight.
The closest Watson had previously come to the fourth round was here in 2015, when she served for the match against Serena Williams but lost 7-5 in the third.
“It wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a bit of drama at the end,” she said.
“And wow, what an atmosphere. There is nowhere I would rather be and you guys got me over the line.
“I felt she was playing her best tennis at the end. I wasn’t that nervous. But fourth round for the first time, I’m so happy.”
Watson will face Germany’s Jule Niemeier, the world number 97, for a place in the quarter-finals.
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