Watson excited by Radwanska challenge

Heather Watson faces Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in round three

Heather Watson faces Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in round three

First published in National Sport © by

Heather Watson will become the first British woman to make the fourth round of Wimbledon since 1996 if she beats third seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Centre Court on Friday.

Watson captured the hearts of the nation on Wednesday when she swatted aside Jamie Hampton to end Britain's decade-long wait for a female in the last 32. She will have to play out of her skin if she is to make it to round four, but the confident 20-year-old sees no reason why she cannot progress.

"I'm not worried at all," she said. "I know she's got very good hands but she's not necessarily the most powerful of players. I love getting the opportunity to play the top players. It helps me gain experience. I go into every match thinking I've got a shot."

Watson and Andy Murray are the only Britons left standing in the singles draws at SW19 after Anne Keothavong, James Ward and Elena Baltacha fell by the wayside on Thursday. Murray survived a barrage of powerful serves from 6ft 10in Ivo Karlovic, but the other remaining homegrown players suffered defeats of varying severity.

British number one Keothavong was swatted aside by Sara Errani 6-1 6-1 while number two Baltacha could only win four games in her clash against defending champion Petra Kvitova.

Ward displayed much more resolve in his clash against 10th seed Mardy Fish, the Londoner falling to a 6-3 5-7 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 6-3 defeat.

Ward revealed afterwards that a good luck letter from Arsenal was the driving force behind his performance. The 25-year-old admitted he was forced to relinquish his £1,300 season ticket to save money, but the London club's chief executive Ivan Gazidis has invited him to join him in the directors' box for a game next season and also sent him a goody bag .

"I got a bag today. They gave me a shirt and a really nice letter. I really appreciated that and I look forward to going to a few games next season," Ward said.

"It was nice to get a shirt with my name on it and they actually went to a lot effort.

"It wasn't just a letter. I appreciate it. Small details make a difference."


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