Serena Williams praises Heather Watson following three-set thriller

first_imgBrave Brit Heather came within a few points of one of the all-time great Centre Court shocks on Friday night by pushing odds-on tournament favourite Serena to the wire in a three-set third-round thriller.In a stunning display the British No 1 was two breaks up in the final set before finally losing 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.And Williams admitted: ‘That was definitely one of my toughest ever matches on Centre Court.’She absolutely has every chance to reach the top 20 in the world and beyond … she was playing so good at times, there was little I could do.’Heather played unbelievably. She gave her all.’Within minutes of the game ending Britain’s men’s No 1 Andy Murray had paid his own tribute to her brave performance, telling his Twitter followers the display had made him ‘really effing proud’. Despite the disappointment of coming so close to defeating the best player on the planet, Watson took heart from her pulsating display at SW19 while praising the mental fortitude of her opponent. ‘I’ve learnt I can compete with the best in the world,’ said Watson. ‘I feel like when she needs to hit the line or hit a winner, she can. And that’s what she did.’Williams, one of the greatest players the world has ever seen, has 20 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, including five singles titles at Wimbledon, and £45million in on-court earnings alone.She is the current holder of the US Open, the Australian Open, and the French Open and began the match on a 23-match running streak of wins in Slam singles events.Watson, aged 23, and ranked No 59 in the world, enthralled a packed Centre Court as she forced the 33-year-old to battle for two hours and 14 minutes before finally taking her place in the last 16.last_img read more