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June 17, 2019

Heather Watson

Birmingham, England


3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Q. Heather, a tough one to come out of. There seemed to be a lot of things frustrating you out there today. Can you talk about how it went for you?
HEATHER WATSON: Yes, I was in a bad mood today. A lot of things were getting to me. I actually didn't sleep great last night so that is why I was in a bad mood, just sort of over-thinking the match and I just really wanted to win today. And maybe I wanted to win too badly and so I didn't keep my focus.

Q. You obviously weren't happy with the umpire, not shaking his hand at the end. Was it the line calls, or what was particularly upsetting you?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I thought there were so many bad line calls and I, like, trust that I'm not going to complain like that unless I'm certain and I felt like it was too many on my end and she's sat right on the line and I really -- yeah, I just thought that was really annoying.

And in my last two matches that I have played, I've gotten broken and lost a set purely on bad line calls, so I think that affected me coming into today and I thought there was way too many.

Q. I thought there was a load of noise from centre court coming between points and maybe tense moments, did that bother you at all, or were you tuned into the zone to notice?
HEATHER WATSON: I didn't hear anything from centre court, yes.

Q. So, what do the next couple of days, weeks, look like for you now?
HEATHER WATSON: I have got doubles here, so I will be playing tomorrow with Buzarnescu and then after I will be playing in Eastbourne and then Wimbledon.

Q. And how are you sort of feeling about tennis at the moment? I know at the start of the year you were pretty low. It seems like maybe you are in a better head space at the moment, generally?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. The beginning of the year was, like, really bad for me, I was really upset when I came off the court today because I felt I was the better player most of that match. But my coach just put it into perspective for me, like thinking back to some of the tournaments we were at earlier on; Indian Wells, Miami, where I literally barely could put balls in the court. So when he said that, it kind of made me laugh and, you know, I was really happy with my level today.

There wasn't much in it at all and I thought it was a high-quality match so I am feeling like my game is there and yes, it should come together.

Q. What's been the key to turning it around and feeling better?
HEATHER WATSON: I think dropping down a level and playing the ITFs in Japan. As soon as I won one match, I won the tournament. And it just needed to be that one match and it just gave me confidence. And I've done that a few times now in my career, drop down to ITF level, which is still really tough, but yeah, for me, it was just literally getting one match win in.

Q. Even though you lost today, how encouraged are you that you sort of seem to be back playing the way you want to play, back towards the level you know you can produce?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I thought I did a lot well today on the court. I thought particularly at the net. I won almost all the points where I came to the net. Served well. Yes, I mean, my chances were small, but she played very well and I am happy with my level.

So I've never really done well here in Birmingham in the past. I don't know why because I feel like I play well. But going into Eastbourne next week I feel very positive.

Q. Do you feel like you have had a few tough draws here?
HEATHER WATSON: Erm, I mean, I think every draw here in this tournament because it's such a high level is tough. And especially on this surface. You can get away with just hitting those first shots really big and yeah, I wouldn't say I've had really tough draws.

Q. And does it give you an extra boost being back on grass?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, absolutely. I love grass. It's my favourite surface. I feel like it really compliments my game well and I think that's what's frustrating for me because I really want to make the most of the grass court season because it's so short and there's only two more tournaments left.

Q. Not to focus too much on the losing run you had, but how tough was that to go from week-to-week trying to get a win?
HEATHER WATSON: I don't mind focussing on it because we're not in it anymore (smiling). Yeah, it was like, it was really depressing. I thought you know what, I was trying my best to stay positive and I thought this is going to be the week, like this is it, I'm going to win a match. Nope. And it just was going on for months. And yet it came to a point that I'm thinking "Why am I trying every day? Why am I going to these tournaments?"

Then when I went to Japan I lost first round there and I played really well in that match, but the girl, you know, had nothing to lose, played a really good match and I just, yeah... It was really tough times but I'm proud of myself for sicking with it and getting out of it now because right now, I really can't complain. I'm happy in life, on the court, off the court and happy with my game.

Q. Wimbledon, you are not far out. You still hoping to get in on ranking?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I'm three out, I think, I haven't checked in the last week or two, but that would be really nice.

Q. I'm sure you will want to get an early night, but are you going to manage to fit in Love Island before because I know you have been enjoying that through your social media, is there time to sneak that in on the catch-up?
HEATHER WATSON: Yes, I'm quite embarrassed I love it so much, but... (smiling).

Q. Everyone loves it.
HEATHER WATSON: It is just so addictive.

Q. How thirsty is Maura?
HEATHER WATSON: Oh you saw that one? It is just like my guilty pleasure. I will definitely watch it tonight.

Q. Would you want to see a tennis player's equivalent of that one? Do you think there's any people who could be going into the villa?
HEATHER WATSON: I hope not because they have got more going for them than going into Love Island (laughing).

Q. How do you deal with the pressure of playing at home? I can imagine it's notched up a level in other, here rather than anywhere else you have played around the world?
HEATHER WATSON: I really don't feel much pressure when I play at home. When I think of playing at home I'm really excited, really happy to be playing on grass at these tournaments, not having to fly anywhere, home crowd support.

I really don't look at it as pressure. It's just more of an excitement, but maybe today I did, that's maybe I just put too much pressure on myself. But I don't really find a lot of pressure from external sources.

Q. Do you feel like playing in front of a home crowd often brings the best out of you?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I do think so. I don't know whether it's because it's the surface, whether it's because I'm at home and I'm happy, or what it is, but I always feel like this time of year I do play some of my best tennis and I think that's shown in my results in previous years in Wimbledon and Eastbourne and, unfortunately, not here yet, but maybe next year (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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