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July 30, 2012

Heather Watson


H. WATSON/S. Soler Espinosa
6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Talk us through the experience of your first singles match as a GB player, how you thought it went.
HEATHER WATSON:  Uhm, well, it was my second, because we played doubles.  But, yeah, it was a lot of fun.  The crowd were amazing.  It's kind of a different crowd now.  They're a bit louder, and I think I like that.
But I think the match went well.  It was a bit windy out there, tough conditions.  But I thought I served well and didn't give her anything.

Q.  Was it slightly strange hearing the crowd from Court18?
HEATHER WATSON:  That was distracting.  That was really tough to concentrate.  Then I kept thinking, No, it's coming from Centre.  No, it's definitely Court18, because I kept hearing, Laura.
But I stayed focused.  We've learnt to put those things out of our mind.  I knew she had won, though, by the way the crowd roared at the end.  But, yeah.

Q.  Have you still got your crazy nails?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, still on.

Q.  Can you talk us through that.
HEATHER WATSON:  All right.  These ones, that says GBR.  Then these two are the flag.  Then the green is the tennis court.

Q.  I guess with obviously Laura winning, it's great to have those two great results to start off and kick further on.
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, did Bally play yet?  Okay, she's now.  We have four Brits in the singles, so I think that's great.  We're all loving the experience of being at the Olympics, but at the same time we're staying focused because we want to finish with a medal.  That's all of our goals.
And, yeah, I think we all have a good chance.  I think the home crowd, being at home, definitely helps, yeah.

Q.  Do you feel just a little different with being the No.1?  Is there any sense that it feels a little even more special?
HEATHER WATSON:  No, I don't really think about that, to be honest.  It was always one of my goals to reach No.1 in Great Britain.  But now I'm focusing just on my ranking in the world, try to reach my targets by the end of the year.  That's to get to top 50 in the world.

Q.  Some British players at Wimbledon can find the experience a bit overwhelming, the pressure a bit too much.  Does it feel different being here at the Olympics?  Do you feel less expectation or more because you're representing the country?
HEATHER WATSON:¬† Well, honestly today I expected myself to win that first‑round match.¬† The way I've been playing, I've been playing very well.¬† After having a great Wimbledon, I wanted to continue that.¬† I still have the confidence from that.¬† So today I expected myself to win.
Next round's going to be a little bit tougher.  But, again, I still believe I can win.  I'm not going to go out on the court thinking otherwise because there's no point going out there.

Q.  What are your thoughts on Kirilenko?  She did well at Wimbledon.
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, she had a very good Wimbledon.  She's been a top player for a long time.  It's not going to be easy.  I know she hits the ball hard.  Typical girl, Russian, tries to overpower and blast the ball.  So I'm just going to play my game.
I'll do some research tonight.  I always like to YouTube my opponents and see how they play, how they move.
Yeah, I'll get prepared tonight.

Q.  How much do you feel part of the overall British Olympic team?  I know you spent some time at the village last week.  But here it's quite a way away from the main Olympic site.  When you go back in the evening, do you want to look and see how other British athletes have performed in other sports?  Are you involved in that?
HEATHER WATSON:  During Wimbledon, we're staying here.  I would have loved to have stayed in the village, but it can be quite exhausting traveling there and back.  I understand and think it's good we're staying here.
The first few days we were there, I had so much fun.  I love that sort of stuff.  Meeting the other athletes.  I love just, you know, talking to them about their sport, things they have to do.
I'm pretty good at just talking to random people, meeting people I've never seen or don't know before.  Made a few new friends.

Q.  But does it feel like, now you're here and based at Wimbledon, just like another tennis tournament or do you feel part of a bigger overall thing?
HEATHER WATSON:  I feel part of a bigger overall thing, but it feels smaller than being in the village.  I feel like, uhm, it is a tennis tournament.  It's hard to say.  But I know it's the Olympics.  I think it's because it's at Wimbledon, it's 'cause we've been here before, we know the place.  Yeah, it feels like a tournament.
But I'd love to go back to the village after the tournament's over, have some more fun.

Q.  You clearly are a British star.  Are you humble enough perhaps to stay here and listen to the next press conference or will you be off doing something else?
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't get it.

Q.  Roger Federer is coming up in about five minutes.

Q.  As a player, is that the sort of thing you do?
HEATHER WATSON:  I spoke to Roger this morning.  That was cool.  He was playing cards.
I think now, after this, I'm going to stretch and have a shower and then go home because I was here all day yesterday.
But, I mean, I love Roger Federer.  He's awesome.  He's done so much in tennis.  I really look up to him.  He's one of my heroes.

Q.  Laura is trying to collect as many pins as she possibly can.  Are you two competing?
HEATHER WATSON:  No.  I'm one of the more relaxed ones on the pins.  Everyone seems to go doing it.  Asking me to swap.  I have a few pins, the Papua New Guinea.  The smaller countries are the ones to get because they're the rarer ones.

Q.  What did you talk to Federer about?
HEATHER WATSON:  I just said, Are you winning?  Then he said, Of course.
I'd spoken to him before that actually at Wimbledon.  I'd never spoken to him before.  Obviously, you see them all the time.  But he came into this little room that I sat in just watching the end of Serena's match.  He came and he was like, Hi, Heather, great job so far.  I was like, What, how did you know?
So, yeah, that was cool that he knows what's going on.

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