There was a ball kid/linesperson who collapsed in back play on Watson’s side of the court while Heather was down break point. It was quite the scene, with officials rushing to the lineperson’s assistance. An ice towel was brought over by a staff member, and the situation was the first interesting thing that happened all match. This seemingly started a new energy for the match, and the match was incredible after that point. The crowd went into applause when the official was seemingly okay and got up- but no applause came from either player. After all, your a break point down in Hua Hin- one has to keep their focus in the biggest game of their life! All jokes aside, who can blame a player for being serious during such an incident- the players fly all the way to the other side of the globe, and a lapse in concentration could mean they are packing their suitcases and getting back on a plane before they even get their feet wet at the tournament.
Watson was broken in her 3rd game of the first set, setting the tone for Wang to strike and take a 5-3 lead in the first set. At the change of sets however, Watson came out guns blazing to race to a love-40 lead on Wang’s opening service game of the set. Wang seemingly survived the onslaught and saved 2 break points from Watson- but a bullet like return down the narrow end of Wang’s court put an end to that. Thus, Watson broke to start the second set. Despite a somewhat shaky start to her own service game, heather consolidated and held for a 2-0 lead, A crafty return then set up Watson for a love-30 lead on Wang’s next service game! A long shot from Wang set up Watson for yet another break point-this time Watson finishing off the game holding 3 break points over Wang.
What was initially a very poor end to the set for Watson became a resurgence of the highest order. Watson shot up to a 3-0 lead- and was still yet to serve. However, the wheels seriously started to come completely off the bus, and Watson was almost broken twice in a row, but held on to her second break advantage she had. In the next service game, Watson suffered yet another break of serve. Heather went from serving to go up 4-love, to then having to serve at 5-6 down to stay in the match. However, Watson held her nerve and the set went to a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Watson shot out of the gates to a 2-0 lead, but was broken at 3-2 in the 5th point of the tiebreak off the back of lightning quick return from Wang into the short side of Watson’s ad-court. Watson also had set point at 6-5 but that all came and went. Wang then brought the tiebreak back on a level playing field, however, Watson was not to be denied a second time, and made sure the match was going to go the distance. Watson iced her second set point off the back off a deep shot which put Wang in an uncomfortable position to go long. Unfortunately, despite all the efforts, Heather was broken a midway through the final set- but valiantly held on to save 1 match point. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, and Wang made no mistake consolidating her second match point. The match concluded with an amazingly gracious hug at the net from Watson- who showed a lot of sportsmanship despite a tough loss in the quarterfinals this week.