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June 25, 2013

Heather Watson


M. KEYS/H. Watson
6‑3, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Have you ever lost a match with a game like that?  That was very unlucky.
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, it was.  But at the end of the day, I was a break up anyways in that set.  I shouldn't have lost it.
Madison played well.  She served well throughout the match.  And, yeah, I knew going in it was going to be a tough one ‑ and it was.

Q.  Irrespective of what happened today, you said a few days ago Wimbledon is your favorite tournament.  I'm sure it still is.  What is it in particular about Wimbledon you like so much?
HEATHER WATSON:  I think mainly because it's at home, with the home crowd, and the atmosphere, you know, you still have to wear all whites here.  I think it's nice.  I think it's smart.
Yeah, just the vibe Wimbledon has.

Q.  Do you not really feel you are too much under pressure, too much pressure here for you?
HEATHER WATSON:  No, I don't take it, you know, as too much.  I don't put too much pressure on myself.  But I do really want to do well here.  And I think it's good for me to have a bit of pressure on myself because it makes me focus that bit more, work hard, stay focused.
So I don't mind it at all.

Q.  Which is your favorite, grass or...
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't really have a favorite.  But if I had to choose, I would pick grass (smiling).

Q.  We know you've had your problems coming back from the glandular fever, so on.  Can that tiredness still creep in?
HEATHER WATSON:  I feel like my game isn't back yet.  I don't think I served well today.  I didn't have a high first‑serve percentage.  My reactions are slow.  I'm not moving like I usually move, getting balls back.
I don't feel like my game's there yet, so that will come back with time, time to practice.  I have a big gap now to get the training in, get some fitness training in.

Q.  Was it the right decision to come back when you did come back?  Did you feel you were ready to come back?
HEATHER WATSON:  Honestly, I wasn't 100% when I came back, and I've said that.  But I think I came back at the right time.  I wanted matches.  I wanted to do, like, fitness as I was coming back with the matches to get the feeling back of playing matches.

Q.  A more general question.  Despite your loss today, how would you describe the state of British women's tennis at the moment?
HEATHER WATSON:  The state (smiling)?  I'd say it's not too bad.  We've got two players in the top 100.  We've got Johanna Konta and Tara Moore coming up through the rankings.  We have a top 10 junior, Katy Dunn.  I feel like women's tennis, there's a lot of depth in it.
I feel like, yeah, there's quite a bit of depth in women's tennis.

Q.  What do you think could be done to bring it forward?  Is it a matter of female coaches?
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't know.  I think different players have their own opinions on what they want as a coach.  And I feel like it is coming up slowly, but it's getting there.

Q.  You spoke recently about how some of the top players like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, they're not that friendly.
HEATHER WATSON:  They don't seem very friendly with each other right now (smiling).

Q.  I wonder what the locker room atmosphere has been like?  Any of the more senior ones speaking to you guys, or is it the same?
HEATHER WATSON:  I don't think they're in the same locker room as us.  I think they've got their own locker room, so...

Q.  Has there been any kind of bad atmosphere between the female players?
HEATHER WATSON:  Not between me and anyone.  Yeah, that's it.

Q.  Is today a reminder ‑ probably not to you, but to everybody watching ‑ how difficult it is in the women's game to break into the top 40?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah.  I saw Madison about a year ago, and I saw her play.  I thought, This girl's got a good game, she's going to start climbing.  She has.  She's climbed so quick.
Some outsiders might look at my draw and think, She hasn't got a seeded player, she's got a good draw.  But I know Madison is a good player.  She's going to be top 30 soon and maybe even higher.  It is very tough to get up there.
In the women's game, as well.  The men's game seems stable.  You know it's going to be Federer, Nadal, Murray, those guys getting through to the last four.  But in the women's game, you see seeds go out in the first round.  You know, you don't know who's going to win.

Q.  What are the doctors telling you?  Have you got the "all clear" now?
HEATHER WATSON:  The doctors said there was no point getting another blood test because I could have it in my system for years after.  So you wouldn't be able to tell.
It's just on how I feel.

Q.  Just down to you, basically?

Q.  Would you say the reason why it went wrong for you today is perhaps because of the illness, or do you think there were other factors as well?
HEATHER WATSON:  I think just me not really finding my game yet.  I don't really feel like my reactions were there.  I didn't feel fully 100% confident in my game.
That needs work, and that's normal from coming back and not having many matches.  But also Madison played very well, served well, hit a lot of winners.

Q.  Do you still feel lethargic physically?  How frustrating is that?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, I don't feel quick and the same as I used to be.  But I think also that's because I haven't done as much fitness work.  I haven't run, for example, because when I run too much, I get a sore foot.  We didn't want that to happen before this tournament.

Q.  It wasn't a great day for the other Brits yesterday.  Was that something you were keeping an eye on?  Did you take that onto court with you, that thought?
HEATHER WATSON:  No, I'm not too aware.  There's so much going on here.  I'm just focusing on myself.  I wasn't at the club yesterday, only for my practice, what I needed to do, and then I got out of here.  It can be quite exhausting.
When I was at home ‑ I call it home, but my host family‑ I was watching James Ward on the tele.  I was screaming at the tele.  He was so close.  I saw that.  I watched a bit of Andy's match.  It seemed pretty straightforward.  I think Nadal's match was the big talk of yesterday.

Q.  When do you plan to play your first event on the hard courts in America?  Before that, are you planning a sort of Andy Murray‑style training block to improve your fitness?
HEATHER WATSON:  Definitely after Grand Slams I feel it's good definitely to have a few days off and rest.  Because it's not just the physical part of it; it's the mental part that a slam takes out of you.
Then I definitely want to get running, get in the gym, get fit, get back to how I was playing before I got ill.

Q.  Is Madison a teenager coming through you see with the most potential, maybe the most exciting?
HEATHER WATSON:  I think, yes.  She's only 18.  She's bigger than me, but she's younger.  I think she's definitely a player to look out for in the future.

Q.  Do you watch other women play, videos, to learn from it?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, I watch a lot of women's tennis.  If it's the choice between women's and men's on TV, I pick women's.  People think I'm crazy.  Because I'm in it, I find it very interesting.  I like studying people's games.
Yeah, when the tennis is on, I like watching the tennis.

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