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June 19, 2017

Heather Watson

Birmingham, England


6-2, 5-7, 6-3

Q. Tough one to lose today. Can you give us your thoughts on where you're at?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. It was a tough draw going in. Elina is a great player. She is very consistent with her game but also with her results. And we've played quite a few times before, I think four times now, and all of them have been three sets and long battles. And today I thought we both played very well and served very well. I'd say especially in that first set I just felt that I had a lot of opportunities that I wasn't able to take, which I got very frustrated with, but just kept fighting in that second set. And in the third it was just one break. But I'm very pleased with how I'm hitting the ball. I just want to be more consistent and not give away too many free points.

Q. Is it frustrating when particularly towards the end of the second you start to play really well and then feel like perhaps you haven't taken advantage of that in order to win the match?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, absolutely. And I had the momentum going into the third set. But that's why she's so good. It doesn't really matter if she loses the second set, she's going to be back the third set. And I have to expect that and be ready to play the extra ball. And yeah, like yes, I didn't take my opportunities, but also Elina didn't give me any breathing room.

Q. Are you encouraged by the fact that you've had opportunities?
HEATHER WATSON: Absolutely. It would be worrying if I didn't have any opportunities at all, but the fact that I keep creating them for myself is a positive. And I just have to -- I think it will just come with time, and as I build up my confidence again, I'll be able to take those chances.

Q. How difficult has it been to stay confident?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I've gone down and played some lower level tournaments. The positive is I'm getting match wins in and beating some really good players at the lower levels. But you don't get much reward for it down there. But I just made the final of Surbiton. I can't forget that. A lot of match wins in a row. I haven't had that in a while. And you know, I do feel really good with my game. I'm happy with where I'm at now. I've got a good team around me, and I feel like that's a real improvement that I've made this year.

Q. Who are your coaches these days?
HEATHER WATSON: Colin Beecher and Morgan Phillips will be sharing their time with me.

Q. How long has that been for?
HEATHER WATSON: That's been from the beginning of the clay.

Q. Is that for the clay and the grass or is that potentially long-term?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. Potentially long-term, but right now it's all the way through the end of the grass and then we'll just have a little debrief, see where we're at.

Q. How does that work then between the two of them? Does one of them handle most tournaments?
HEATHER WATSON: It's kind of been -- it's about half and half. And they're both part of JTC Academy in London. And they work together. So it's perfect for me. And I really like them both, and I feel they really complement each other with helping me as well.

Q. What do you think it's going to take in your game just to turn it around and get some more wins at this level under your belt? Is there just a little anything you think?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. It's just little bits here and there. Like I said, I feel like I'm striking the ball very well. I'm happy with how I'm hitting it. It's just playing those important points the right way and smart and being able to take those opportunities, because just a few points here and there would change the match completely.

Q. Are you happy to be back with Naomi for the doubles?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. I've missed her on the court. We're so close with each other and she's one of my best friends, and on the court I just feel so comfortable with her and her with me. And when you play with somebody you don't know, you're quite polite, and good shot. With us two it's just completely brutally honest, but neither of us care because we're supporting each other. And yeah, I really do love being on the doubles court with Naomi. So I'm pleased to be back.

Q. And what is it about that partnership? Obviously she's tall, long leaders, big serve; and you can scamper about. Is that the magic formula for you two?
HEATHER WATSON: I think our chemistry together helps. Like I said, we're very comfortable with each other. And just I think our games complement each other. She's got a big serve. I'm quite quick around the net. And then with my serve she's big at the net. I think we just complement each other's games very well.

Q. Do you think an extended run in doubles might help you confidence wise?
HEATHER WATSON: I've been winning a lot of doubles matches recently, and I'd like to keep that going. It helps my singles. And I really do enjoy doubles as well. That's why I play it. And yeah, I like to come forward, come to the net. I think that's one thing I've been working on for a long time in my singles, and I did it very successfully today at times. And doubles really helps with that, so I'll definitely keep that going.

Q. About coming to the net, were you frustrated that ^ Elina just didn't give you any chance to come in? When you did, you invariably got the point.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. And it's singles, and I'm not a serve-and-volleyer. So it's hard to get to the net, especially when she's getting the ball so deep, but I feel like most opportunities I did have to come in, I did and I executed. Yeah, she played very well today.

Q. You say you're feeling confident on court, striking the ball well. Do you feel like it's just a case of a few things clicking and a couple of big wins will come along for you?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, for sure. It's not like I'm not winning matches. I'm still winning matches. I just lost first round here and last week against two very good players. And that happens at a tournament every week. I've got one next week, too. But yeah, it's just small things I think that will just come together, and I feel like there's a run coming soon.

Q. But you feel like you can beat these bigger players, some of the top seeds? Do you feel like you can beat them or believe that your game has enough to beat them?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, of course. And especially on this surface, I feel like it complements my game a lot.

Q. What was your lowest moment of the season, if you don't mind me asking?
HEATHER WATSON: Oh, it was Australian Open, second round for sure. After that match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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