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July 1, 2015

Heather Watson


H. WATSON/D. Hantuchova
6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You must be overwhelmed, Serena next?
HEATHER WATSON:  Well, she hasn't played yet.

Q.  Possibly.
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't think that's really fair that people do that.  I know she's, you know, the favorite to win that, but she hasn't played yet.
I'm really happy with the way I played today.¬† I went 3‑1 down in the first set, made a few double‑faults in that game, kind of gave that game away.
I thought what I did really well today is I stayed composed.  I didn't let that bother me.  I thought I played a lot better today.  I was a lot more aggressive.  I was able to play my game.

Q.  Back to the serve problem.  You had major problems midway through the first set, then you seemed to sort them out.  What happened?
HEATHER WATSON:  I wasn't making many first serves at the beginning, and she was really attacking my second serve.  I didn't feel that I was winning a lot of points off of it.
Then like halfway through that first set, I seemed to find my serve.  I thought it just kept getting better as the match went on.

Q.  It was very warm in the stands.  I'm guessing in that sunken level court it was even hotter.  You trained a lot and lived in Florida.  Does that come into its own?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, I was surprised at how hot it did feel out there today.  It was very warm.  But I'm not complaining.  It's nice weather for Wimbledon.
But, yeah, I did feel it today.  I think it was quite a physical match.  I think we both felt it a bit on the long points.

Q.  It sort of feels like you've been searching for the real Heather, if you like, on the court for a while.  You kind of found her today.  Did it feel like that for you?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, I thought I played a lot better today.  I hit the ball a lot harder.  I was a lot more aggressive.  Served well.  That's how I need to play if I want to win matches like that.  Against somebody like Daniela, if I'm just going to make the ball, she's going to put it away.
Those are the matches I have to win and I can't wait for them to be given to me.

Q.  You seemed very efficient today and got the job done.  When you went into the match did you think that you must not start slowly?
HEATHER WATSON:  Definitely, I didn't want to start slow.  I didn't want to start slow the other day either.  So I've been doing kind of different warmups, I've been playing a few points in practice before I play my match, which usually I just warm up my strokes.  So I think that's helping a lot.
And also before the match, I'm doing a lot more quick feet stuff to get the body going, get the body warm.

Q.  How would you describe Serena Williams, your likely opponent for the next round, but just your observations of her game at this stage of her career, the fact that she has a chance to win a Grand Slam in a calendar year?
HEATHER WATSON:  Serena's a great player.  She's an amazing athlete, a great champion.  She's always the one to watch.  She's always the favorite for every tournament she plays.
So I think she's the one to beat in tournaments like this.  She's probably the toughest opponent.

Q.  What specifically about her game do you find most challenging?
HEATHER WATSON:  Well, I haven't played her yet.  I look forward to playing her one day, maybe in the next round.

Q.  How is it playing three days in a row?  Is that giving you momentum?
HEATHER WATSON:  Well, most of the other tournaments of the year you play every day in a row, so it's not too out of the ordinary.  I think in a Grand Slam, it's different because you've got a lot of things to do.  Everything takes more time.
You know, I haven't had any rest really.¬† It's just been kind of non‑stop.¬† In a way I think it was good for me to play yesterday and then again today.

Q.  A fantastic photo of you just after match point.  You could see your emotions.  Can you describe them for us in that moment.
HEATHER WATSON:  I was very happy.  I wanted to smile, but my mouth was so dry, I couldn't even open my mouth (smiling).
But, yeah, I was just very pleased to get through that.  I felt I did everything I wanted to do and needed to do and played how I wanted to play.  I was just pleased with the result.

Q.  I take your point about it being presumptuous playing Serena in the next round.  In Eastbourne, we asked you what you would be thinking when the draw came out, would it be the top seed or the qualifier.  You got revved up about possibly playing Serena.
HEATHER WATSON:  I've never played Serena before, so I'd love to play her.  But she's obviously a very, very tough opponent.  But I feel like in matches like that, you've got a lot to gain, so it's a real positive as well to play her.

Q.  Do you watch her and try to learn from her?
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't just watch her.  I watch most of the girls play.  I really enjoy watching women's tennis.  I'm a bit of a geek.  I study.  I like to pick different parts of each of their games and try to incorporate into mine.

Q.  Serena has so many things in her life outside tennis that she manages to fit in.  In a way, does it make it better, her achievements?
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't really know.

Q.  How does it seem from the outside looking in?  She has celebrity friends, all these things in her life off the court, but she keeps showing up.
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, well, she's worked hard for it.  She's done so well in her tennis life, she's allowed to enjoy her life off the court a bit.
She is big celebrity status.  Yeah, she's living it up.

Q.  I know you play for the wins, not the money.  Obviously it's a considerable sum you've won now.  Have you actually got a place of your own yet?

Q.  Or are you working towards that?
HEATHER WATSON:  I've just recently got my own place which has been, as you know, a big goal of mine for a long, long time.  I'm going to have to start paying bills now.  It will help, I guess.

Q.  Is that around here somewhere?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, it's quite close by.

Q.  Particularly if you play Serena, I wonder how much you might draw on things three years ago when you got to the third round, played Radwanska on Centre Court, if that experience will be useful for you?
HEATHER WATSON:  Absolutely.  I remember playing that match against Radwanska.  I wasn't sure how to deal with it.  I remember overplaying totally and thinking she was going to be this amazing player that, you know, I'm going to have no chance against.  I tried to hit winners on the first ball.  That was no good.
This time around, you know, this isn't my first, second or third Wimbledon.  I've been here a few times now.  I've gotten a feel for playing the top players.
At the end of the day everybody's human.  Everybody's going to make mistakes.  Everybody is going to have good days and bad days.
Yeah, having those experiences really help.

Q.  You seemed to have a large row of family there, is that right?  Who were they?  How often do they get to watch you?  Are they always at Wimbledon?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yes, I had lots of friends and family come today.  I had mum, dad, grandma.  I had a school friend from Guernsey who now lives here in London, who I've known since we were like five years old.  Colin Murray.  Then on the other side I had coach, fitness coach, physio, all of that.  So like work and family.

Q.  Did it make a difference having them there?
HEATHER WATSON:  Always a positive for me, absolutely.  I love them to see what I do, how I play, just have them there supporting me.

Q.  I saw an article recently where you were quoted as saying you had a few death threats.  Is this online?  How much does it bother you?  Are you worried if you get further in the competition you could get more?
HEATHER WATSON:  Well, I don't really check anymore really.  But it's become such a usual occurrence that it doesn't really mean much to me.

Q.  It was on Twitter you were getting some nasty messages.
HEATHER WATSON:  Was I?  I don't know, I haven't checked.

Q.  Have you stopped using Twitter as a result?
HEATHER WATSON:  No, no, no.  I use it.  I keep posting.  I really enjoy posting.  It's usually always positive when I win.  It's just when I don't win.
But my favorite's posting pictures.  I think some people get sick of me posting pictures.  But I like it, so I'm going to keep doing it.

Q.  Those nasty ones, were they recently?
HEATHER WATSON:  No, a long time ago, yeah.

Q.  To what extent do you think online abuse is a particularly a problem for female players?
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't think just for female players, I think for everybody.  I think those people, they've got no life.  They're just kind of cowards thinking they can say whatever they want on the Internet.  They don't understand that we're just people at the end of the day.
Yeah, it's not very nice at all.  I don't think they'd appreciate people saying that stuff to them.
But what can you do?  I don't think you're going to be able to stop it.

Q.  A number of those posting messages were gamblers complaining you lost.
HEATHER WATSON:  It usually is, because you either win or lose the money.  They shouldn't gamble (smiling).

Q.  How will you chill out before the next game?
HEATHER WATSON:  Usually I don't have much time to do that stuff.  I'll just go home to the host family I stay with every year.  They have a dog, so I just play with the dog.

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