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July 5, 2017

Heather Watson

Wimbledon, London, England

H. WATSON/A. Sevastova

6-0, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Why do you think you won today?
HEATHER WATSON: Thank you (smiling).

I felt that I had a really good start to the match. Felt really solid out there. I felt good the last week, in particular. And just really continued that. I served well. Hardly made any unforced errors in that first set.

Q. The first set you seemed to be really on it, hitting everything really crisply. What were you thinking coming into this match?
HEATHER WATSON: Uhm, well, every match here I see as an opportunity. And I hadn't played her in a long time, three, four years. So I wasn't really sure how her ball was going to be.

Uhm, I just kind of went out just focusing on myself, not too much on what she was going to do. And, uhm, just to swing free, stay aggressive, and move my feet.

Q. What pleases you most after a performance like that? Is it the first set where you're completely dominant, second set where it gets sticky but you fight your way through it?
HEATHER WATSON: I've got to say -- that's a good question.

Starts are very important, but I'm really happy with the second set because she raised her level. The first set I just felt great, pretty flawless. It's always going to change. I've got to expect her to raise her level and to try something new, and she did. I was pleased with how I remained calm and just kept doing what I was doing.

Q. Do you think you're playing as well as you did two years ago when you last reached the third round?
HEATHER WATSON: I can't really remember.

But right now I'm very happy with my game, very happy with how I'm playing, like I've said. I just feel like I'm in a good place and I'm confident, just really enjoying being out there on the court at the moment.

Q. You had a sort of difficult start to the year, but were fantastic down at Eastbourne, today was great. What do you put this turnaround in form down to?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, the last couple months I've got a new coaching team onboard -- well, a coaching team. I haven't had one for a while. I just am happy with that. I'm happy with them. Practices are going really well. I feel like I have structure. Enjoying it, which is the most important part.

But it makes me want to work hard, as well. I feel like my tennis is just really improving at the moment.

Q. Have they changed anything in particular about your whole routine?
HEATHER WATSON: Not massively. I think, you know, I've been on the tour for a lot of years now. When I was younger, when a coach would come in, it would be more they're the dominant one, tell me what to do, I'd just do it and listen.

But now, you know, I'm experienced. I know my body. I know what I like, what I don't like. So it's kind of a bit of give-and-take.

Q. I don't know if you're aware, a couple of high-profile pullouts on Centre Court, two players pulled out in the second set. People paid a lot of money, had come a long way. Is it something you think perhaps the authorities could change?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, firstly, that's a shame yesterday. It's not that common to happen, especially in a Grand Slam.

But it's tough because for the players that have worked their way the rest of the year to give themselves a spot in the main draw, they've earned that spot, and it sucks if they're injured because it's a big paycheck for them. So they want to take that, even if they are a bit injured.

And I think in other tournaments, for the men, there's a rule that if they pull out on-site, they still get their first-round prize money. I think that's a good rule because it gives another person a chance, an opportunity to play. Even once they've lost in qualifying and stuff. Sorry, I'm really bad at explaining things.

I just think that's a really good rule.

Q. Reaching the third round has been a high point. Can you pick out a couple of low points that you've experienced over the past 12 months or so.
HEATHER WATSON: Well, last year here was a low point in my singles, for sure. At the end of the two weeks, it was a high point.

But, yeah, there's always ups and downs. It's sport. I'm happy at the moment. I'm winning at the moment, so it's hard not to be. But it's just about balancing the highs and lows, not making them too dramatic, be more levelheaded. I think that's important.

Q. What do you remember most from the meeting with Serena two years ago? Is it a good memory or a bad memory because you didn't win?
HEATHER WATSON: The thing I remember most is just the support and the crowd during that match. That's the best atmosphere I've ever played in in my life. I was getting goosebumps after every point. That's what I remember most about the match, so it's positive.

Q. We've seen some players yesterday have sort of motivational quotes to sort of motivate them on. Is that something you do, write yourself notes? If not, is there anything else you do to get yourself in the right head space?
HEATHER WATSON: I love a quote. There's a save button on Instagram. Mine are literally all quotes. I couldn't give you one particular one because I've got hundreds.

They really help me. I feel like if I post a picture or something, I usually post a motivational quote underneath. It inspires me and is really motivational.

Q. Did you have anything written down specifically?

Q. On the retirements again. There were seven in the first round for the men, only one for the women. Generally there's always a lot more for the men than the women. Obviously best-of-five, best-of-three is part of it. Do you think there's anything such as women are less willing to quit?
HEATHER WATSON: Oh, I don't know. I didn't realize there were seven for men.

I mean, as you said, like, the men have to play five sets, so mentally to play with an injury through five sets is a lot tougher than even three.

But me personally, I can't speak for anybody else, but if my leg was broken, I'd be crawling to the next ball. That's just me, though. I just can't retire.

Q. The singles players that withdrew with injury are now going to be playing in the doubles. Should they then be able to perform in the doubles?
HEATHER WATSON: Again, it's tough to say because every injury's different. Maybe it was just how they felt that one day, and the next day they're better. It's just different scenarios.

I don't know what everybody's injuries is, so I can't really comment on it.

Q. You were talking about being in a good place at the moment. I noticed that you tweeted about enjoying watching Love Island as a way to relax at the end of the day. In terms of your psychological strategies for unwinding, is that something new that's developed to focus on the relaxation and downtime?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, like today, I was first match on. Once I've done all my recovery and eaten and taken care of my body, I want to do that as quick as possible so I can get away from the courts and unwind. I like to think about my match a lot. It can be a bit exhausting and draining.

So when I do have time to relax, I try and make the most of it. It's easy watching Love Island at the moment. It's so good.

Q. Do you have a favorite?
HEATHER WATSON: Do I have a favorite? Well, Montana is my favorite from the girls, and I find Chris hilarious.

Q. How big a thing would it be to make it through to the second week of a slam?
HEATHER WATSON: It's been one of my goals forever. I made those big goals years ago. Making second week of a slam would be huge for me. I haven't done it before in singles.

And if I do, my coach said he'd shave his head.

Q. Which one?

But I said, No, your girlfriend will kill you. You can shave your legs (smiling).

Q. We're here at Wimbledon. It seems all so glamorous. You know more than most how underneath the tour is so brutal, so competitive, so hard. Yesterday we saw Bernard Tomic say he was bored, he didn't care, he was playing for the money. What is your response to that? How did you feel about that?
HEATHER WATSON: I didn't see that. But for me, the tour is tough. It's all year round. I don't think everybody realizes that it's from January to October, week in, week out. Obviously the Grand Slams are the big ones, and everybody knows those happen, but not all the smaller tournaments, the week in, week out training that everybody does. That aspect of it is very tough, including the travel.

But for me, like, being out on a tennis court at Wimbledon in front of a massive crowd, like the perks are so big, it's my favorite thing to do. I love tennis. Even later on when I stop playing competitively, I'm sure that I'll still want to get out on the court and play. So for me I love the game.

Q. Have you ever been bored in a competitive tennis match?
HEATHER WATSON: Uhm, like, week in, week out I'm not motivated every week. I think that's normal. It's very hard to be. But you have to kind of find that motivation in the weeks where it's harder, where you're in a random country, all the way on the backcourt, nobody's watching. It's tougher. It's very different.

It's easy to be motivated here for me. So, yeah, it's tough week in, week out. It's just like telling somebody to be happy every single week. That's not life.

So, yeah, there's highs and lows to everything you do. For me the highs are really high.

Q. Your mum was here today. How often does she get to watch you? Has she given you any motivation behind your recent form?
HEATHER WATSON: My mum's famous here. Everybody knows her. I walk around and I have, like, 10 people stop me, Oh, I saw your mum. I chatted to her. I'm thinking, Who hasn't she chatted to?

Yeah, she's great. I mean, I wouldn't be here without her. She's introduced me to tennis, took me traveling when I was nine, ten years old, over to England, because we're from Guernsey, to tournaments, everything. Yeah, she's such a great support.

She's really clued up. She knows what she's talking about when it comes to tennis.

Q. If your coach is going to shave his legs, you have to beat Victoria Azarenka first. How tough do you think that will be? Have you been inspired by her return to the game?
HEATHER WATSON: First of all, I think Vika is an incredible player and person. I really respect how hard she works and how focused she is.

I look forward to playing her. I know she has only just come back, but I expect her to be playing really well because I know she will have put in the hours and the work. You don't get to where she's got to in her career without, you know, being a really good player.

Q. On your preparations for Azarenka, will you be changing your strategy at all?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, whoever I play, you know, I come in with a different game plan because everybody's a different player. But to do with myself, I'll keep everything the same, my routine, what I'm going to eat, speed. I'm going to watch Love Island.

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