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Heather Watson may have come into the spotlight for some at the 2011 US Open, but she actually has a stellar tennis record in the short time that she has been playing.
In 2009, Watson won the US Open Juniors Singles title, defeating her doubles partner, Yana Buchina, in straight sets. In addition, she holds three International Tennis Federation (ITF) senior titles.
2011 has been a good year for Watson. She was the first British woman to qualify for the French Open since 1983, when Kate Brasher walked onto the grand stage in Paris. Additionally, she was the first British woman to reach the second round of the clay-court tournament since Clare Wood back in 1994.
Her greatest feat of 2011, however, has to be playing in the US Open and facing off against former US Open champion and world No. 1, Maria Sharapova.
For anyone fortunate enough to have caught the match, it was a grueling match for Sharapova.
With Watson being an all-around player (great service game, court agility, return ability), it made things very difficult for Sharapova to counterattack.
To give an example, Watson completely dominated the first set and captured the win. But, even more astonishing, with Sharapova up 4-1 in the second (Watson initially had a break up on Sharapova at 1-0), Watson slowly but surely battled back. Eventually, Sharapova was able to somehow manage a win in the second set and go on to win the third set.
Though Sharapova won out in the end, she was truly battle-fatigued afterward. She showed a sigh of extreme relief when she was able to seal the win after two-and-a-half hours.
In a post-match interview, Sharapova said, "There's no doubt that she's a great up-and-coming player."
Watson, along with Andy Murray, put the British back in the thick of things in tennis on the road to hopefully some future Grand Slam titles.
Watson is currently ranked No. 107.