July 7, 2017 / 7:03 AM / 7 months ago

SHOWCASE-Tennis-Heather Watson v Victoria Azarenka - player profiles

July 7 (Reuters) - Here’s a look at the form and previous records of Heather Watson and Victoria Azarenka ahead of their third round match at Wimbledon on Friday:

Heather Watson (Britain)

The 25-year-old arrived at the championships on the back of a semi-final appearance in Eastbourne and has boosted her credentials as a grasscourt player with consecutive two-set victories this week.

She hammered out a statement of intent with a 6-0 6-4 second round win over 18th seed Anastasija Sevastova and will be hoping to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time in her career on Friday.

As an extra incentive, Watson’s coach Morgan Phillips has promised to shave his legs if she can achieve her long-term goal of reaching the second week of a major.

Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)

Former world number one Azarenka, who returned to action last month after giving birth to son Leo in December, is off to a fine start at Wimbledon, her first grand slam appearance since the 2016 French Open.

The twice Wimbledon semi-finalist needed three sets to beat American teenager Catherine Bellis but moved up a gear in the second round to oust 15th seed Elena Vesnina in two.

The 27-year-old has never lost a set to her third round opponent Watson in four previous encounters and will start as a heavy favourite to book a place in the second week of the tournament. (Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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