Heather Watson and Henri Kontinen through to mixed doubles semi-final

Great Britain's Heather Watson in action during the first round

It has been a strange fortnight for Heather Watson. Having begun with a whimper, it could end up with a first Wimbledon title.

The Briton will play on Saturday for a place in the final of the mixed doubles, after she and Henri Kontinen of Finland continued their surprise run with a fine 6-3, 6-2 win over the American Scott Lipsky and Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia.

“We played well again. I’m really enjoying my time on court. I think that’s why I’m playing so well. Henri makes me laugh.”

Having knocked out the favourites, Martina Hingis and Leander Paes, in the previous round, they played near perfectly in lovely afternoon sunshine to book their place in the last four, where they will meet Oliver Marach of Austria and the former junior Wimbledon champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

After squandering three match points in losing in the first round of the singles and being fined $12,000 for damaging the court with her racket Watson has looked a player transformed. On Friday they broke early in both sets and closed out in style. “Everybody stares at me at the net when the referee tells us, please don’t [damage] the court,” she said, laughing.

Watson’s run may yet have a double dividend as she prepares for next month’s Olympics in Rio. The 24-year-old was bitterly disappointed four years ago when Andy Murray chose Laura Robson over her as his mixed partner, the pair going on to win the silver medal. Though Watson is the British No2 behind Johanna Konta, her efforts here may influence Murray’s thinking, although Jamie Murray, the men’s doubles world No1, may also have a say.

“I’m not really thinking about that,” she said. “If I get the opportunity to play mixed I’ll take it but I’m happy this week with my partner.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Simon Cambers at Wimbledon, for The Guardian on Friday 8th July 2016 19.27 Europe/London

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