French Open: Heather Watson strikes out Oceane Dodin in straight sets
Heather Watson had a good finish to her opening round at the French Open Monday. The Brit handled things quickly against French hopeful Oceane Dodin winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-0 on Court Three at Roland Garros.
This was the first meeting between the French and British stars in which both of them hoped to make it the year they surpassed the opening round of the tournament.
Though Watson has a longer history of appearing in the French Open, her first round had her battling against the French support her opponent would no doubt have on her side.
Both have had shaky seasons to date giving them an even chance to dictate against one another.
They did that in the shape of breaking one another through four games with Dodin starting things off to the roar of cheers in the stands.
Watson followed suit through four games before changing things up with her first service hold of the match. Dodin followed along right before Watson nailed a shutout in the seventh, scoring her fifth ace.
She made it 5-3 by capturing a break on the 21-year-old before serving for the set. Watson easily attained three set points to put it away after 32 minutes.
Watson won 16 of 17 points on the first serve and had 11 winners, totaling 31 points. Dodin managed just 21 due to 15 errors and a low second serve return percentage.
The Brit then started to exploit her opponent’s weaknesses and attacked right from the start of the second set taking a 3-0 march.
She continued making it a one way path for herself taking a 5-0 stand with Dodin on the chopping block quickly.
Watson got to 40-15 with two chances to end the match but the French star answered well with two big returns that kept her alive.
She forced deuce and after a few back-and-forth points, it was clear that she didn’t want to be shut out. They went to deuce eight times before Watson took one more AD point for her fifth attempt, ending the one hour and two minutes match with a long ball return from Dodin.
With her first match done and dusted and in such fine form, the 27-year-old would look to use her well rounded skills to take on the winner between Varvara Lepchenko and Elise Mertens in the round of 64.