Watson’s fondness for Indian Wells is growing

Heather Watson.
Heather Watson.
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Heather Watson claimed the biggest win of her career as she beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 6-4 to move into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Watson had never beaten a top-10 player before and had lost to Radwanska at Indian Wells last year but broke the seventh seed five times on her way to victory in an hour and 33 minutes.

Victory in Hobart in January had given Watson the second title of her career and the world No 43 will now take on either Carla Suarez Navarro or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last-16.

The 22-year-old had not won a set against Radwanska in three previous WTA meetings.

“Aga is a fantastic player,” said a delighted Watson afterwards. “I’ve played her quite a few times and she’s beaten me pretty comfortably every single time so I knew I was going to have to bring my A-game and play my very best and that’s what I did.

“The crowd definitely helped me today. I absolutely love it here. What’s not to love?

“For three years I didn’t win a match here and then last year I won a couple and here I’ve won a few more so hopefully I can keep it going.”

In the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic opened his title defence with an emphatic victory over Marcos Baghdatis on Saturday evening.

The top seed from Serbia –a three-time champion at Indian Wells – breezed to a 6-1 6-3 triumph to improve his record against the Cypriot to 8-0.

US Open champion Marin Cilic was a second-round casualty, however, beaten in straight sets by Juan Monaco.

Cilic, who came to prominence by breaking his grand slam duck at Flushing Meadows last year, has been beset by a lingering shoulder injury and Saturday’s match represented the Croatian’s first appearance this year.

Earlier, Andy Murray marched into the third round with a routine 6-1 6-3 win over Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

The fourth seed raced through the opening set, carving out five break points and taking three, before another two breaks of serve in the second earned him victory in one hour and 19 minutes.

The Scot will next face Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.