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May 23, 2016

Heather Watson

Paris, France

H. WATSON/N. Gibbs

5-7, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must be a bit tough splitting it over two days. Do you think you played with a little bit more concentration today than yesterday?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, definitely. First of all, I'm knackered, I could go to sleep right now. It's been two long days.

Yesterday the conditions were very wet. It was raining most of our match. I think that really suited the way she was playing, because when it's heavy, the ball is very slow and it stops. So with me trying to be aggressive, I have to win the point three or four times rather than just with one shot.

Like you said about my concentration, I was getting a bit emotional at times. And then today I said to myself that the one thing I was going to do was just make sure I was calm and kept my focus for every single point and didn't get too hyped up. Today was drier so it helped me a lot more, my balls went through and I hit a lot more winners.

Q. Can you relax about Rio now?
HEATHER WATSON: No, no, no, no, can't relax. I actually didn't even think of that at all. I just wanted to win this match, just because I felt I'm hitting the ball really well at the moment, and I would have been really disappointed if I would have lost playing the way I am.

Q. To reel off five games like that, especially when you were a game point down, must have been beyond even your expectations. Sixth game, four clean winners to break her.
HEATHER WATSON: My first goal was to win that first point, because I knew it was very important. I could have been 3-1 down and just one point. I actually had a talk with my coach and we talked for five minutes about how we're going to play that first point. Once I got that, I think I just kind of settled. Especially once that game was done, I started swinging through.

Q. What process do you actually go through overnight to turn around? You were staring at defeat yesterday when you left the court. You came back in such a positive mood. How do you achieve that in such a short amount of time?
HEATHER WATSON: I actually slept awful last night. I couldn't get to sleep. My mind was going over everything in my whole life, not just the tennis match. I slept like five hours.

But I woke up feeling fine, and it was just all just being positive for me, even if I miss a few dry volleys coming to the net, just to keep doing it because that was the right way to play against ever.

Q. You said that the Olympics wasn't really on your mind in this match in particular, but just in general the last few months how much has it been on your mind and start looking at the rankings and thinking, am I in or not?
HEATHER WATSON: Yes, as I have said, it's been pretty much my main goal this year.

Q. Have you ever played a doubles partner that you're playing with this tournament in singles before? How do you kind of handle that? Because she certainly didn't seem in the best mood at the end. What do you do now? Do you chat to her afterwards or leave it for a bit?
HEATHER WATSON: I definitely won't talk to her right now (laughter).

But I think -- well, I can only talk for me, but I didn't even think about it at all. We are both singles players. We are both here to do well in the singles. Doubles is a bit of a bonus. Of course I want to do well in it, also, but I didn't think of that at all. She was just my opponent in the first round, and that was it.

Q. Olympics, why is it so important to you? Can you understand why some athletes in other sports don't want to go because of Zika or some other reason?
HEATHER WATSON: No, I have no idea why they don't want to go. Because I love it. I had a great time, and I want to go back (smiling).

Q. I don't know whether you read a couple of weeks ago they played the Rome men's final, Andy and Djokovic, in conditions similar to yesterday. Djokovic had an understandable moan about it, said it was dangerous, said it was endangering their fitness. I saw you yesterday several times asking the umpire, why are we playing on? How dangerous did you think it was out there? Because the back tarpaulin was saturated. If you slipped on that -- what were you saying to the umpire and what was he saying back to you?
HEATHER WATSON: It did start to get slippy. I asked, are we going to stop? He said he hasn't heard anything. That was the first time. But the second time, I was like I'm stopping, because I slipped on the last point to go 30-40, 40-30, she was serving, and I'm not going to give away a game because I can't even move on the court.

So I was just done playing at that point. Yeah, every other court had stopped then as well.

Q. In your view, was it dangerous?
HEATHER WATSON: The second time yesterday? 100%. I mean, I slipped.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your next opponent?
HEATHER WATSON: Kuznetsova? Okay, I wasn't sure. She is Grand Slam champion, been around a long time, and can be extremely dangerous on her day.

I know clay is one of her best surfaces. She lives in Spain, and trains there. Yeah, I think she's very comfortable on the clay, so it won't be easy.

I think I've got a good game to give her some troubles.

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