HomeSportsTennisHeather Watson beats ‘friend’ Tatjana Maria to reach Nottingham Open quarters

Heather Watson beats ‘friend’ Tatjana Maria to reach Nottingham Open quarters

Heather Watson booked her place in the quarter-finals of the Nottingham Open with a straight-sets win over her friend and former doubles partner Tatjana Maria on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Watson clinched a single crucial break in each set to wrap up a 6-4 6-4 win over the German, with whom she reached the last eight at Wimbledon in 2018.

Prior to play on Wednesday a minute’s silence was held on Centre Court in memory of the three people who were killed in attacks in the city early on Tuesday.

It was a notable win for Watson against a player currently ranked 129 places higher in the world rankings, as she aims to emulate last year’s grass-court success that included a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Watson, who next plays world number 99 Viktorija Golubic, told the BBC: “I came through qualifying and each match I’ve got a bit better but there’s more to come.

“Tatjana is my best friend on tour, we have played doubles together and spent a lot of time together. It’s never easy to play a friend but at the same time it’s really special sharing a court with her.”

British wild card George Loffhagen continued his breakthrough week with a 6-4 5-7 6-3 win over Chinese qualifier Shang Juncheng to reach the last eight.

Loffhagen will next face fifth seed Dominik Koepfer, a 6-4 6-2 winner over Loffhagen’s compatriot Arthur Ferry, while Liam Broady suffered a disappointing 7-6 (4) 6-4 defeat to Japan’s Sho Shimabukuro.

Fresh from his win at the Surbiton Trophy last week, Andy Murray starts his campaign against Hugo Grenier on Thursday as he targets the ranking points that could see him earn a seeding at Wimbledon.

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