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June 19, 2018

Heather Watson

Birmingham, England


7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tough fight, but small margins would you say today?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, definitely. I felt like I was playing really well today, but every time it was 30-all or a deuce point, I'd just make the same mistake. It wasn't that I was doing the same thing wrong every time, but it was ended up, like, just clipping the tape and not going over. I just felt like I had so many small chances today and wasn't able to take any. It was just so frustrating for me. Every time I needed to step up, I didn't. That first set tiebreak, just really poor tiebreak. Too many mistakes. But at the same time, I have to give her credit. She was just a brick wall in those moments and just stepped her game up.

Q. Is kind of not taking those small chances, is that a legacy of not having won that many matches?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, you know, maybe. I don't really know. Like I've said, I've been playing well for a long time, but I think that I don't want to be too negative about it because I was really pleased with my fighting spirit, especially with the way I served. But I felt like once I start taking those points, a match can change completely the other way. I can see that match going, yeah, just the complete other way in my favor or it can be close like that.

Q. Is part of the frustration that you feel like you're playing a lot better than your results are showing?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, exactly. And like you said, I think you hit on it. I think once I take those chances more often or just come more naturally, and as soon as you take one chance and you get on top of them, the margins can change. I'm getting way too complicated, but I'm saying it well in my head.

Q. Jay said it was like smelling blood like a shark.
HEATHER WATSON: I guess so, and once you take that first bite, they're wounded. So you just keep bitting at them. You know what I mean? I wasn't able to take that first bite today.

Q. When we talked to Katie Boulter earlier in the week, she said that she actually credited you and Jo with a lot of inspiration and drive. Her results have seen that she seems to be very grounded in the process. Have you found that with her? Talk a little bit about her, because obviously you're playing doubles with her.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, she's had some good results lately in the ITF circuit. All of this is great experience for her getting wild cards into these tournaments. And I think, for example, she qualified for Miami earlier in the year there. I think that's actually really helped her coming into these tournaments. Yeah, she's got a game that can be big. She's a tall girl, so she can have a big serve. I've never played doubles with her before. If I'm completely honest, I haven't seen her play loads. It should be fun tomorrow. I get on with her well. Obviously she came to Fed Cup earlier on in the year, so, yeah, hopefully she's hitting big serves tomorrow.

Q. Does it make you feel like the older stateswoman to say, Oh, yeah, I look up to Heather and Jo?
HEATHER WATSON: Does it make me feel older?

Q. Like an elder stateswoman?
HEATHER WATSON: Not really, because I look up to people who are younger than me in tennis. So, for example, Kasatkina is on the court right now, and I think she's a great player. I love the way she plays. So age is just a number.

Q. Going to Eastbourne now, then Wimbledon. You had great results at both last year. Do you use that as a positive or do you feel that's added pressure?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, I just spoke to my coach after the match and he was very happy with my fight today. To be honest, we saw the match exactly the same. Had loads of chances at the 30-alls, at the deuces. It doesn't matter how I did there last year, I'm just really happy with the way things are going now. As long as I keep my head screwed on like it is, then the results will take care of themselves.

Q. Are you experienced enough not to worry about ranking points, just worry about how you're playing?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, they said it's my ninth appearance here and I just thought, yeah, I've been on tour so long, I just don't care. Because you're going to win one week, where the year before you lost first round and then vice versa. So it doesn't matter.

Q. Is there anything you can do sort of outside of matches to try to improve that or is that just something that comes with matches?
HEATHER WATSON: I thought my returning could have been a lot of better today, so I just can't wait to get on the court tomorrow and just hit loads of returns. But, yeah, it's just coming away with ways you can improve and just working on it. I think that will give you the confidence for next time.

Q. You mentioned looking up to Kasatkina. Are there any other players perhaps with similar styles to you who inspire you?
HEATHER WATSON: I actually wouldn't say we have that similar of style. Yeah, loads of girls, most girls on tour, like, 80 percent of them, I like something that they do and I want to incorporate that into my game stuff like that. So it's not just one particular player. It's a lot of them.

Q. Is there anything you can tell us that you've incorporated into your game that you've taken from somebody else?
HEATHER WATSON: No, not really.

Q. What was Mama Watson's assessment of your game today?
HEATHER WATSON: I haven't spoken to her about the match yet, but I'm sure she'll give me a bolllocking later. No, I'm kidding. No, she'll be fine. As long as I give it my best, she will support me, she'll be happy. Because, again, she has been with me, obviously, through the whole journey and she knows that some weeks it just doesn't work out and then some weeks it just all falls into place.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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