Mats Wilander backs British hope Heather Watson to continue 'dream' Wimbledon run

Watson, 30, has been through to the Wimbledon last-16 for the first time in her career.

by Dzevad Mesic
Mats Wilander backs British hope Heather Watson to continue 'dream' Wimbledon run

Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander has backed Great Britain's Heather Watson to continue her Wimbledon run and reach the quarterfinal. Watson, 30, is enjoying her best-ever Grand Slam as she defeated Kaja Juvan 7-6 (6) 6-2 to progress into her first Grand Slam round-of-16 at Wimbledon.

121st Watson plays Jule Niemeier, who upset second-seeded Anett Kontaveit in the second round. "When you dig into why she hasn't got into the fourth round in majors is it that she has struggled against the players that she is supposed to beat," Wilander said on Eurosport.

"You would say against Niemeier she is probably the favourite because she's on grass and has the crowd with her. But it also puts a lot of pressure on her from herself more than anybody. She will think that it is a chance of a lifetime so I do think she will win that match.

It's obviously a tricky tie when you play somebody that you should beat."

Wilander backs Watson to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinal

Watson and 97th-ranked Niemeier will be going head-to-head for the second time in their respective careers when they meet at Wimbledon.

Their first and lone meeting came earlier this year, when Watson beat Niemeier in Monterrey. Nothing was expected from Watson before Wimbledon started and she insists she is not feeling pressure now that she has been through to the last-16.

"I actually think the further I get in a tournament, the more relaxed I get because my confidence builds," Watson said. "I'm proud of myself for getting to that point in the first place. I think that shows in my results; the deeper I get in a tournament, the better I do.

So, yeah, I was very calm coming in today." Watson is having a good run at Wimbledon and she will certainly be looking to take the advantage of a favorable last-16 matchup.

Mats Wilander Heather Watson Wimbledon