Alongside the singles events at The Championships are the doubles which, these days, are hotly contested and are approaching the sharp end at Wimbledon.
I'm glad we were in the doubles and won a match like that. I enjoyed it and I'm happy to get a win at Wimbledon this year. That night, after the match, I couldn't stop crying. I didn't sleep until about 5am but that's life, full of ups and downs. You've got to let it make you stronger. Heather Watson
Heather Watson’s hopes were dashed in the singles and more disppointment followed when, as a former Mixed Doubles champion and finalist with Henri Kontinen, the pair narrowly lost their opener against the British team of Harriet Dart & Joe Salisbury, 6-1 7-6(3).
The British No 2 admitted that she was reduced to tears by her devastating first-round loss in the singles to Kristie Ahn, 2-6 7-6(3) 8-6 after a 3 hour battle.
She found dome solace in teaming up Dart, who also lost in the first round of the singles, to record an impressive 6-3 6-2 victory against the experienced pair Kaia Kanepi & Zhang Shuai in the women’s doubles on Thursday last week.
“That was one of the hardest defeats I’ve had to take, maybe ever, especially because it was here at home and I had a match point,” Watson admitted later. “I was really upset, I was having flashbacks during practice with Harriet.
“I’m glad we were in the doubles and won a match like that. I enjoyed it and I’m happy to get a win at Wimbledon this year.
‘That night, after the match, I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t sleep until about 5am but that’s life, full of ups and downs. You’ve got to let it make you stronger.”
Dart & Watson’s win was the highlight of an otherwise poor day for the home doubles contingent, with 4 of the 5 British team going out in the first round, and they went on to the 3rd round with an impressive win over Petra Martic & Shelby Rogers, 3-6 7-6(6) 6-1.
There, they met their match in sisters Hao-Ching Chan & Latisha Chan, the No 7 seeds from Taipei, 4-6 6-2 6-2, on Court 14 on Monday .
Dart & Watson started strongly but were unable to convert 3 break points in the opening 3 games but it didn’t matter because the first set score locked at 4-4 when the British duo won 7 out of the next 8 points to clinch it.
The Chan sister came back, breaking serve in the 4th game to lead 3-1, before repeating the trick in the 8th to claim the set and level the match.
The decider started promisingly for the home pair, but they squandered a break point in the opening game and, after two holds, the 7th seeds broke serve following an ill-timed double-fault from Dart.
In the 7th game, Dart & Watson engineered 3 break points but failure to convert any of them put paid to their chances of a comeback.
One final break from the Chans secured the decider and the match after an hour 58 minutes.
The quarter-finals of the doubles were almost completed on Monday bar the unfinished match involving the top seeds, Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, both of whom lost to Ash Barty in the round of 16 and the 3rd round respectively, and Coco Gauff & Caty McNally’s match against the Russians Veronika Kudermetova & Elena Vesnina.
Interrupted by the weather, the Czech pair will complete their match against the No 15 seeds, Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova & Arantxa Rus from the Netherlands, on Court 12 on Tuesday with the score standing at 7-6(3) 3-2.
Second-seeded Timea Babos & Kristina Mladenovic were upset in the first round by Zarina Dyas & Oksana Kalashnikova, the Kazakh – Georgian duo coming through rather easily 6-1 6-2.
Mladenovic was subsequently slammed with a £5,400 ($7,500) fine related to an incident reportedly involving a member of her family when the Frenchwoman got into a heated argument with a member of staff.
It is reported to have taken place shortly after Mladenovic had lost the doubles and a member of Mladenovic’s team tried to arrange private transport back to the hotel, but were told this was not possible and they would have to use the shuttle bus.
As a result the unnamed individual was abusive to staff members and security had to step in to resolve the dispute.
Mladenovic, who has made no comment regarding the fine, was also scheduled to play in the mixed doubles with Nicolas Mahut but they have since withdrawn.
American teenagers Gauff & McNally are seeded 12th in the doubles and made it to round 3 with a 6-3 6-2 win over Australia’s Ellen Perez & Daria Kasatkina from Russia, before beating Spain’s Paula Badosa & Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-4 6-4 on Saturday
Already into the quarters are the No 3 seeds, Taipei’s Su-Wei Hsieh & Elise Mertens from Belgium, who took out the 14th seeds Asia Muhammad & Jessica Pegula from the USA, 7-5 6-3, on Saturday.
Unseeded Aussie Storm Sanders and her American partner Caroline Dolehide also advanced with a 7-6(4) 6-2 victory against Ukrainian Nadiia Kichenok & Romanian Raluca Olaru in third-round action at Wimbledon on Monday.
26-year old Sanders, who is currently ranked at a career-high of No 59, and Dolehide, a 22-year-old American ranked No.40, are yet to lose a set this tournament and, impressively, only faced a single break point in their clash with the No 13 seeds.
Contesting only their second tournament together, their career record as a team now stands at 6 wins from 7 matches.
They are looking to continue their sensational form when they face Chan & Chan on Wednesday.