Heather Watson reaches the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time; No. 5 Maria Sakkari eliminated

Heather Watson she has been through a lot at Wimbledon and has now made it to the third round for the first time. Fifth seed Maria Sakkarihowever, he was eliminated.

121. Watson, making her 12th appearance at the All England Club in London, advanced to Friday’s fourth round with a defeat Kaja Juvan 7-6 (6), 6-2.

“I know I’m not speechless because I’m babbling, but I don’t know what to say,” Watson, 30, said on Court No. 1. “He’s playing here at home in front of all of you, the atmosphere is everything. So, please, can you all come back for my fourth round ?”

Sakkari, who reached the semifinals at both the French Open and the US Open last year, lost Tatjana Maria Germany 6-3, 7-5.

“It was a very bad performance from me. A big disappointment,” said Sakkari, who has yet to get past the third round at Wimbledon. “I mean, credit to Tatiana. She played very well. She played her game. I just messed up my game plan and everything.”

The pressure on British players at their home Grand Slam can be immense. Watson and every other British player knows this well.

Before Andy Murray won the men’s title, discussion among the locals would endlessly focus on Fred Perry and Virginia Wade, Britain’s most recent singles champions at the All England Club.

Murray ended some of that in 2013, becoming the first Briton to win the Wimbledon title since Perry in 1936. Wade, in 1977, remains Britain’s last Grand Slam champion on grass.

“I wasn’t that nervous actually,” said Watson, who has lost in the first round six times since her Wimbledon debut in 2010.

Watson will play in the next round Jules Niemeier Germany. She beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Maria’s win over Sakkari advanced her to the fourth round for the first time at any Grand Slam. Sakkari made 30 unforced errors against her German opponent, who will next face the 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko. The 2017 French Open winner beat Irina-Camelia Begu 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

The 103-ranked Maria reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her 35th appearance at a major. Her previous best at a Grand Slam was the third round at Wimbledon in 2015.

“It’s amazing,” said Maria. “I think I played a good game from start to finish.

Third seed Ons Jabeur also reached the fourth round and defeated Diane Parry 6-2, 6-3 and No. 24 Elise Mertens beat number 15 Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-5 in the only match of the seeded players in Friday’s women’s draw. Mertens has reached the fourth round at four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

American Alison Riske-Amritraj they lost 6:2, 6:3 Marie Bouzkovawho will face next Caroline Garcia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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