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August 29, 2011

Heather Watson


3-6, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Heather.

Q. You must have some mixed emotions on perhaps the biggest day of your life, playing so well and not winning.
HEATHER WATSON: Uhm, yeah, I had a lot of fun today in my match. It's what I want to do. I want to be out there on the big courts playing the top players.
It was a really great match, very competitive. We played some really great tennis.

Q. How close do you think you came to pulling it off then?
HEATHER WATSON: Uhm, I think I had my chances in the second set. You have to create the opportunity but also execute, and I was probably a bit too defensive on those important points.
But I always believed I could win. There's no point in my going out there if I don't believe that I can win. I just wanted to give it everything and leave everything out there on the court.

Q. You obviously had a set way you wanted to play. You did execute it pretty well. How difficult is it to sustain that level again and again against someone who hits the ball like Sharapova?
HEATHER WATSON: I just wanted to just make every ball, make her play every ball, and just fight. Because Maria's a fighter. She's never going to give up.
That's what makes her a champion. That's why she's won this tournament before. She's won Grand Slams and been No. 1 in the world, so I'm going to have to go out there and compete and give it my all.

Q. When you're out there, you're very quiet returning shots. Your opponent was screaming. Was it hard to concentrate?
HEATHER WATSON: I didn't really notice it at all. And I thought I was kind a bit loud today, as well (smiling).

Q. Was that because when somebody is making such a lot of noise you find yourself being drawn into it?
HEATHER WATSON: No, I didn't really notice it at all.

Q. When you watch Maria as a spectator on the television, is the noise apparent to you?
HEATHER WATSON: No. All players make different sounds, so it's just kind of part of the game.

Q. You got a pretty good standing ovation when you left. What was the atmosphere like? How do you feel you handled it?
HEATHER WATSON: I absolutely loved the atmosphere today. I thought everyone was going to be supporting Maria. You know, she's won here before. She's been No. 1 in the world. She's No. 4 right now, I think.
I had a lot of support. I heard some people calling me Cinderella, all sorts of stuff. And just when they were chanting my name, I kind of got the goosebumps. I thought, Stay calm; focus on the match.

Q. There didn't appear to be a trace of nerves. Did you sleep well last night?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, the night before I had 12 and a half hours' sleep. I thought I wasn't going to be able to sleep last night, but I did. I got in another nine hours. I wasn't actually nervous at all throughout the match. A few points here and there.
But the first game when I was 40-Love up, I missed a few. You could tell because they just kind of fly. But I didn't really feel nervous today.

Q. Have you ever been on court with Sharapova before, at Bollettieri's, for example?
HEATHER WATSON: No, I've never been on court before, but I've been there while she's been training as well.

Q. She missed quite a few shots today, much to do with the fact you were playing so well. In terms of weight of shot, does she hit the ball as hard as anyone you've faced?
HEATHER WATSON: She hits the ball very hard and you can't really tell where she's going.
But she is human. It's not going to be an absolute missile. So I just tried to scramble everything back.

Q. What about the court? Did you ever look up and realize the enormity of it at all?
HEATHER WATSON: I didn't want to do that because I thought then it would like settle in and I'd start thinking about that too much. I just wanted to focus on the match.

Q. What do you think you need to do, Heather - you've made impressive progress this year - to keep on that trajectory? What parts of your game do you need to improve?
HEATHER WATSON: I think I need more consistency. I've been a bit up and down. I just want to produce results that I think are good for me. I don't feel like I'm where I should be in the rankings, and I just want to keep working hard and, you know, giving everything in every tournament no matter what level it is.

Q. Did you talk to Laura about playing Sharapova since she had the experience at Wimbledon?
HEATHER WATSON: I didn't actually because she was getting ready for her match, so I didn't want to bug her.

Q. Is there a kind of rivalry between you and Laura at the moment?
HEATHER WATSON: Is there a what?

Q. A rivalry.
HEATHER WATSON: I think it's like a good rivalry. We're friends and we support each other. But at the same time, when we see each other doing well, of course we're competitive, that's why we're in this sport, and we want to do better than the other one.

Q. How far do you think you'll go in the rankings, say, in the next year or so?
HEATHER WATSON: Well, my target for the end of this year was top 75, and, so I need to like start working so I can make it. I've never not made my goals, so...
I haven't set my targets for next year, but I'll let you know.

Q. Where do you play next?
HEATHER WATSON: Next in Québec.

Q. What's the plan after that?
HEATHER WATSON: After Québec, I'm going back to Europe. I'll be training at the NTC for a few weeks working on my fitness, and then I'll be playing Linz, Luxembourg, and all those.

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