“I’m really looking forward to playing Serena; I’ve never played her before”, Watson told the BBC.
Williams will now play her sister Venus in the last 16 as she looks to clinch her sixth Wimbledon title and 21st grand slam overall.
The topsy-turvy nature of the match didn’t end there though and Watson managed to break again at 4-4 to serve for the match.
Vital ranking points, her equal best showing at Wimbledon and a guaranteed £77,000 were among the dividends for a highly professional victory pulled off with composure. But, just as she has done so many times before, she refused to lose.
“But I hope I showed them (the crowd) that I fought for them and it is not going to be a walk in the park for anyone who plays me”.
The 23-year-old summoned the courage to recover however, and levelled the match with her second set point.
The crowd now started to sense history was beckoning and it was Watson who was starting to swagger, Williams yelling in frustration at the sudden shifting tide of the encounter.
Kvitova had won the championship back in 2011 as well and has plenty of experience when it comes to the Wimbledon. Williams has swept to Australian and French Open triumphs over the last six months, taking her within two major titles of becoming the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 to claim the four top titles in one year. But she looked pretty fired up the other day. Venus, who is older than Serena, beat Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-0.
Turning the set on its head in a flash allowed Watson the confidence to serve out and take a one-set lead without any real issues.
In women’s play, ex- champion Maria Sharapova beat 29th-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-4, 6-3 and has yet to drop a set. Watson could not come up with a swinging backhand half-volley.
Watson’s battling instincts rattled Williams, but nerves bit as she served a double fault to hand her intimidating opponent a chance to break.
The three-set thriller was so close it made Williams contemplate a shock Wimbledon exit, she admitted after the tie.
While Williams once stared down at Watson from her bedroom wall, facing her idol across the net on Centre Court failed to faze her. Suddenly Serena’s story was back on track.
She poses a big threat for me, Serena said about Venus. Venus had long earlier completed her win over Krunic.
Even as the final point was replayed on a hushed Centre Court, the sobs began. She broke Serena to take the 5-4 advantage, and everyone held their breath.
Lukas Rosol beat the Spaniard in the second round in 2012, only to lose his next match. I could have been out first round in this tournament when I was match points down.
They say never meet your hero but Heather Watson came so close to both meeting and beating her hero at Wimbledon.