Heather Watson looks to make it back-to-back wins against Jule Niemeier when they face off in the Prague Open first…
Heather Watson looks to make it back-to-back wins against Jule Niemeier when they face off in the Prague Open first round on Tuesday.
The pair go head to head for the second time in the space of a few weeks, having also locked horns at this stage in Nottingham a few weeks ago.
There, Watson prevailed in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 on the way to reaching the semi-finals, avenging her defeat by Niemeier in the Wimbledon fourth round last year.
Both players enjoyed ground-breaking runs at the All England Club that fortnight, with the latter subsequently going down to compatriot Tatjana Maria in the quarter-finals.
Watson’s run to the last four in Nottingham represents her best performance during the 2023 WTA season, in which she has also reached the last eight in Hua Hin and Warsaw.
The former British number one, who was an ITF runner-up in Glasgow and Calvi earlier this year, will be targeting another deep run here to build some momentum ahead of the US Open.
But she faces a player who has been in solid form in recent weeks.
Though she was unable to replicate her exploits at Wimbledon – bowing out in the second round – Niemeier was a quarter-finalist in Hamburg last time out.
The German also defeated Ons Jabeur on the way to reaching the last 16 in Berlin, where she was forced to retire injured against Marketa Vondrousova, who lifted the Wimbledon title just a few weeks later.
The winner of this match will play eighth seed Kateryna Baindl in the last 16 at the 2023 Prague Open.
Play gets underway at around 5pm BST on Tuesday and will be contested over the best of three sets on Court 2.
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