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July 7, 2017

Heather Watson

Wimbledon, London, England


3-6, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk us through what happened on the final match point.
HEATHER WATSON: Uhm, yeah, I was very upset after that match, to lose that one. I've been feeling so great about my game, within myself. Just felt like I'd fallen at the same hurdle again. It hurt a lot today.

I felt that the match at the end there could have gone either way. We had a lot of long rallies and, uhm, games that went back and forth. But Vika played great. I thought she got better and better as the match went on. She just kept applying pressure.

It was tough, yeah. I thought it could have gone either way. I was gutted to lose that one.

Q. Were you aware there was some controversy in the coverage? Kim Clijsters said there was some coaching going on in the Azarenka box. Were you aware at the time of motions from their box?
HEATHER WATSON: No, I have no idea. It's the first I've heard of it. I think at one point I saw the referee talking with her, but I didn't know what about.

But, yeah, I don't know anything about that.

Q. It wasn't an issue for you while you were playing, that there was some communication?
HEATHER WATSON: No, because I had no idea it was going on.

Q. Azarenka's grunting was causing quite a stir in the crowd and on social media. Did you find it particularly strong? Was it off-putting at all?
HEATHER WATSON: Not for me. She's always grunted like that. It's no different. I didn't notice the crowd making any reactions or anything.

But it's kind of a normal thing, so it didn't bother me at all.

Q. If you had known that the coaching was going on during the game, is that the kind of thing that would affect or annoy you? Do you think it's a problem when a player is perhaps getting that advice from their box?
HEATHER WATSON: In all the other tournaments during the year, we're allowed coaching on court, so it's not that big of a deal for me personally. I actually would prefer that we didn't have the coaching on court rule. I think it's better if we figure it out ourselves, plus the men don't have it. I don't know why we should. I'd rather we didn't have it.

But, yeah, because we have that rule, it doesn't matter.

Q. Despite the defeat, you're now going to go back into the top 100, moving in the right direction again. You're going to get an automatic entry to things like the US Open. How much easier is that going to make your life, not having to go through qualifying?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, it will definitely help. That was actually one of my goals by the end of the grass court season, was to be main draw of the US Open. So I'm very pleased that I've made that.

And, yeah, it does make life easier because qualifying is so tough. There are so many good players there ranked between 100, 120. So, uhm, yeah, I'm very happy with that, and it will definitely help.

Q. At one point there was a dispute with the umpire as to whether you challenged a point or not. There was also another point where you seemed frustrated on court. You raised your arms or something. Talk us through the frustrations of the match.
HEATHER WATSON: Well, basically she hit a serve, I went to hit it and then put my finger up like that. The referee didn't do anything. I was like, I challenged. She was like, No, you didn't. I definitely 100% did. You can look at the videos. I'm 100% sure about that.

Either way, her serve was probably in anyway, so it might have made no difference whatsoever, but I definitely challenged.

The other thing you're talking about, I don't really know. She gave me a time violation, but I thought that was silly, too.

Q. Did it seem weird playing her again straight afterwards in the mixed doubles? Any sort of satisfaction in beating her so quickly afterwards?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, I definitely didn't want to lose to her twice in one day, so I was very pleased to get through that, finish on a good note. Obviously I would have wanted to get the singles.

But, you know, she's so experienced. She's been at the top of the game for a long time. She just hung in there and played really well when it mattered.

Q. Some of the players have spoken about the condition of the court, found it a bit slippy, perhaps the grass has dried. Did you have any difficulties on any of the courts you've been on today?
HEATHER WATSON: No, I found the courts here, because they're so nice and smooth, they're always a bit slippy. I don't think it's any different from any of the other years.

Q. In the time between singles and doubles match, do you and Victoria cross paths? You both go your own way, head down?
HEATHER WATSON: No, I didn't see her apart from just when I walked past to go stretch. We're both busy doing our recovery, so there wasn't much to say.

Q. You said earlier you're devastated to lose. Did you feel more pressure because there was this whole concept of British glory the first time in 40 years that people were talking about?
HEATHER WATSON: No, haven't heard about that. I haven't heard about most things. For me it's all past now. It didn't matter who I was playing against today. I just wanted to -- I've gotten to the third round quite a few times now in different slams. I really wanted to make that push for second week for my singles.

Like I said, I felt great on court. I'm enjoying it, playing really well. I thought -- well, I gave myself a chance today, and I was sad that I couldn't take it.

Q. How do you rate Jo Konta's chances? Do you think she's got what it takes to win Wimbledon?
HEATHER WATSON: I've said this before, that I think she can win a slam. She's playing brilliant, so solid, so aggressive. She always has good results on the grass. So why not?

Q. In terms of making progress at a slam, does it feel close? What is it going to take you to make that leap, that jump?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, I used to be, like, the first few times I'd gotten to the third round, I was pleased with myself that I'd done well. Now I kind of expect myself. I've been around a while. I know how well I can play. I feel like I'm under-achieving at the moment.

Q. Did you draw upon the epic you had against Serena on Centre Court two years ago? It felt similar. The crowd sounded similar. It had that tension to it.
HEATHER WATSON: Well, because I'd had the experience, it definitely helped. I backed myself more today, as I'd been in the situation before, I've lacked a little belief maybe at the final hurdle. But today I felt different.

Yeah, I did fall at the final hurdle, but I felt confident and fought as hard as I could for every single point.

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