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June 26, 2014

Heather Watson


A. KERBER/H. Watson
6/2, 5/7, 6/1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Immediate post‑match thoughts positive or a case of what might have been?
HEATHER WATSON:  When I walked off the court I was very upset.  I started very poorly.  A lot of unforced errors.  Didn't serve very well.  The set kind of went just very quickly.
The second set I kept fighting through.  I found my way.  I think from both of us there was some unbelievable tennis.  I managed to take that second set and was very pleased with how I was playing.  I thought I played very well.
Then in the third set I felt‑‑ I was still playing well, but I didn't take my chances.  I had a lot of game points.  They were still close.  Just missing some easy balls.  You can't do that against a player like her.

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
HEATHER WATSON:  I really enjoyed the Centre Court vibe.  I like playing on the big courts.  The atmosphere today was brilliant, and I really enjoyed playing.

Q.  What do you think when you walk out at the start on such a grand court and it's barely half full and people are not there for you?  We thought for a Brit of all people the place would've been rocking.
HEATHER WATSON:  When I walk out, I mean, after somebody like Nadal has played, everybody goes and takes a break or whatever, so I wasn't expecting it to be full right then.

Q.  You said you were a bit disappointed with your performance in the first set.  What do you put that down to?
HEATHER WATSON:  You know, I wasn't as nervous as I was in the first match.  I don't know.  I think just getting used to her game.  I hadn't played her before.
I didn't know how hard to push, whether I should attack early on, or, you know, lay off a bit.
So I think I was just getting used to that.  I can't do that.  I've got to be in it straightaway.

Q.  How hard is it‑‑ I mean, you're British No. 1.  Laura sadly is out for quite a bit.  How hard is it to be the player who perhaps is the nearest hope we have to keeping Andy Murray company sort of into the latter stages of the tournament?
HEATHER WATSON:  It's not hard.  I enjoy it and I want to be up there.  I want to be the best.  I want to the person that everybody is rooting for that they have their hopes on.  It means that I'm a very good player and getting up in the rankings.  That's what I want to keep doing.
I just don't want to lose in the second round.  I want to get further and beat these top players.  I can't hope for a good draw.  I've just got to make it happen.

Q.  People take a break after Nadal.  It was about a set and a half before.  Must have been a good lunch.  When they finally got out and got cheering behind you in the second set, you seemed to have momentum.  Can you take that set in isolation and say that's what I want it to be at Wimbledons to come?
HEATHER WATSON:  To be honest, I wasn't even looking at the crowd.  I was just focused on the match and trying to win.
I did have momentum I think going into the third, but I missed a few important shots on those important points here and there.  That just let it slip.  She was able to take advantage.  She wasn't missing anything.  I would've had to win it.

Q.  Not sure if you seen Julien Hoferlin's comments about British players being too spoiled, do you feel that's fair?  Is there something in the funding system that makes his comments valid?
HEATHER WATSON:  I understand where he's coming from.  I see it with some players more than others.  You know, we are a strong, rich federation, so I can see that people would say that whether we were doing well or not.  You see that with those rich federations.
Yeah, I see his point.

Q.  What is the difference then, do you think, between heroic failures here for Brits and going the extra mile to be able to beat players like this?
HEATHER WATSON:  You know, there isn't much in it.  I feel‑ well, I'm speaking for the women's tour‑ there are so many players that can play that high level.  It's just keeping it.
I didn't keep it.  I didn't start with it and I didn't finish with it, unfortunately.
But I'm positive about my game.  I feel like it's a lot stronger than it has been.  I'm getting a lot more consistent results.
With more experience playing these top players, I think, you know, next time I'll learn to take my opportunities.

Q.  So you need to learn to be ruthless in that respect?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, as soon as you have break point, you have to take it.  You're not going to get many opportunities.  I've got to learned to that.
And not just ease into the match.  I've got start playing good from the beginning, from the first point.

Q.  It must be frustrating, like you say, because you talked before about being more attacking anyway generally recently.  Is the most important thing you can maybe learnthen ‑‑ you said you were a bit tentative to start with.  Is the thing to do just go for it and play that tennis you've talked about?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, that's definitely the word I would use with my start.  I was very tentative.  I missed a lot of easy balls.  Wasn't making a lot of first serves.
I'm glad that I got into it and started playing better.  I just want to play like that more consistently now.

Q.  How proud are you of coming back to be where you are now?
HEATHER WATSON:  I am very pleased with where I am now.  It was a very tough year for me last year.  The way the year's gone so far, I mean, if somebody would've told me that from the beginning of the year after the year I had last year, I would've taken it.

Q.  You obviously at a young age took yourself off to the IMG Academy.  It's known as a pretty hard school.  Are you surprised sometimes when you look at other British players, by no means all of them, but some of the British players that perhaps some of them that don't share your work ethic.  Does it surprise you that they're not taking advantage of the opportunity they've been given, like you're doing your best to do?
HEATHER WATSON:  Sorry, what do you mean?

Q.  You said that you took Julien Hoferlin's point about some players being too spoiled.  Not everyone.  When you see those players not taking advantage of a great opportunity like you've tried to do, does that kind of surprise you?
HEATHER WATSON:  I see some not working week in, week out, kind of choosing when they want to work.  Not just the players, but I think the coaches let them slip, let them get away with it.
Nothing is said if they just don't want to play that week or don't want to give it.
I don't feel that‑‑ I don't think it's all the players.  I think it's coaches, too.  But I can't say that, because if a player wants to make it, it's all up to them.
But, yeah, I mean, I do see where he's coming from with some players.  With others, I do feel they give a lot of the hard work.
For example, I see Katy Dunn.  I did on off‑season training camp with her, and every single day she worked hard and pushed.
Then I've done it with others and I saw a very different story.

Q.  You mentioned before your first‑round match that you didn't sleep so well.  How were your preparations for today?
HEATHER WATSON:  Actually, I slept really well last night.  I don't know, maybe that's why I lost today.  (Smiling.)

Q.  Given the quality of the opposition, given the setting, given sort of the intensity of the atmosphere, was the second set as good as you've played in your career?
HEATHER WATSON:  I know I can play well.  I think I played very well in that second set.
But as a match as a whole, definitely a lot of improvements I need to make.  Just learning to take my chances.

Q.  Sports psychology has been quite trendy this summer.  What do you do to get yourself mentally right, and have you changed your approach to that?
HEATHER WATSON:  I think it's one of the key things for my tennis, personally.  When I'm mentally right, I play well.  But I don't feel I need to see a psychologist or anything like that.
I just learn a lot from the people around me, like my coach and parents and the people closest to me.

Q.  What was the tip then?  You've not yet beaten a top‑10 player.  How were you told to overcome that hurdle?  May be a mental as well as physical barrier.
HEATHER WATSON:  I didn't want to play her today as who she was.  I wanted to play her as just the person that's‑‑ I wanted to play the tournament.  I didn't care who it was.
Just wanted to get on the next round.

Q.  Comments about coaches letting players slip and slide and that sort of thing, do you not think‑‑ will we not see much of an advancement in British tennis unless the attitude changes?
HEATHER WATSON:  I guess it just depends who you are.  I don't know who the next people coming up are after the junior players now.
You know, I say we could suddenly have lots of good players or we could have not so many.

Q.  Will you be wearing your lucky dress again, or is it now unlucky?
HEATHER WATSON:  I think for doubles I'm going to wear the skirt and top like I did for mixed doubles.

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