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June 22, 2011

Heather Watson


2-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Heather Watson. May we have the first question, please.

Q. Looked like you were wincing on occasion. Can you explain how tricky it was, your injury, out there.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, it was just on one serve. I just felt my elbow go, something in the middle. I could only feel it on my serve, not on my groundstrokes.
And, uhm, until I called the trainer on, I could feel it for a couple more games, and then it went away. I got given, uhm, something to get rid of the pain. And it helped. I couldn't feel it towards the end.

Q. So you wouldn't blame the injury then?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, it didn't help. But my opponent played well. She was solid from both sides and, uhm, was very aggressive. Got me on the defense quite a lot.

Q. When did you first feel it?
HEATHER WATSON: Uhm, I can't remember the score exactly, but early second set. I was on the far side. It was a serve I hit out wide. I just felt it.

Q. But you hadn't lost your serve before then, had you? Was that when you were broken for the first time?
HEATHER WATSON: I think so. I can't remember.

Q. Have you had a diagnosis?
HEATHER WATSON: No. I don't know what's happened. But I'm seeing the trainer after this.

Q. Do you feel you would have won there had it not happened? Because you were in a pretty good place.
HEATHER WATSON: Well, I don't know how the match would have gone. It was frustrating and I thought I lost my concentration a bit in the match. But my opponent played well.

Q. Is it just a coincidence that until then you were probably the most powerful player on the court, and then after you were injured she became the most powerful player on the court?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, I said it only hurt on my serve, which is important obviously. Uhm, and I was serving very well at the beginning of the match. But for me it's just frustrating. I was just disappointed that I lost.

Q. Have you experienced it before?
HEATHER WATSON: Uhm, no, I've never felt anything like this (tearing up).
I just really wanted to win today. And I thought I had the match. But, uhm, it's just frustrating 'cause I just really wanted to do well.

Q. You've had such a good year. Did you fancy your chances beforehand?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. I was playing really well. I believed in myself. I thought this was a great opportunity for me. It's just really annoying.

Q. You must have believed in yourself even more after that first set because you played really well.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I was playing really well, feeling confident. At the beginning there were a few nerves in the first couple of games, but then 2-All I just, uhm, started playing tennis how I can play it.

Q. Because of the way that it ended, the importance of Wimbledon to you, is this sort of the hardest defeat you've had to take since you turned professional?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, uhm, because I feel like I've had some experience and I've won a match in a Grand Slam. I just feel like there's no excuses now.
I know how to play tennis. This is what I prepare for. This is why I play tennis every day, so I should be ready. I feel like I should be winning these matches. That's why I'm so annoyed.

Q. You're very brave in the fact that you could have used the elbow as an excuse.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, but still I let her get in the match. In rallies I don't think I was aggressive enough. I stepped back a bit and let her dominate the points. I just needed to focus more.

Q. Even though you didn't have any physical pain after whatever medication it was, are you saying it was at the back of your mind for the rest of the match? Even though you couldn't feel it, your concentration was somehow distracted by it?
HEATHER WATSON: I didn't want to serve too hard after because, uhm, especially the flat out wide, I just had to be careful.

Q. So you had to play within yourself on serve then?

Q. You're saying you should have been more aggressive. I don't know if it helps you. I was sitting next to Nick Bollettieri, and he actually said, What a fighter. That's something. You were proving something to your coach. If you have fight, all you need to do then is go on from there.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I am a fighter. I'm never going to give up. And the match is never over. People have lost after having had match points. It happens all the time, every week.
I was fighting for every point. But it was just disappointing at the end.

Q. You proved it in the second game where you saved seven breakpoints.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, uhm, the first game was a tight one as well. Those two games lasted a while. It was good for me to hold, 'cause then I was able to feel like I was in the match and loosen up a bit.

Q. If your injury hasn't happened before, are you now thinking, Why me? Of all the times for it to suddenly come about. Are you feeling a bit, Why me, at the moment?
HEATHER WATSON: It's exactly how I'm feeling. Could have been another tournament. Why this one? It happens. It happens to all players. Now I'm just going to have to see the physio, see what I can do, and do what I can to heal it up and see how it is tomorrow.

Q. Your body of work in the past month, you must feel like you feel in the top 100, top 50?
HEATHER WATSON: Definitely. I believe in myself. All the players can have on days, play very well, but they can also make mistakes as well. I feel like I can compete with the top.

Q. I suspect your mom put her arm around you and told you not to be too hard on yourself?
HEATHER WATSON: I haven't seen her yet. My dad gave me a hug.

Q. And said not to worry too much?

Q. What happens now? If the injury is not too bad, presumably it's full steam ahead for the US Open, is it?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. And I also have doubles and mixed doubles here. Maybe we'll play tomorrow, depending on the schedule. But, uhm, I'm just gonna heal it tonight, rest.

Q. I know it might be a scant consolation. But Rio Ferdinand has been tweeting about you, saying he was impressed with the guts that you showed. What's your reaction to that?
HEATHER WATSON: That's really nice.

Q. You're not a Manchester United supporter?
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I'm a Man U fan. I have to be Man U, because my dad is, who is from Manchester.

Q. That's cheered you up.
HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, thanks for that (smiling).

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