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May 27, 2014

Heather Watson


H. WATSON/B. Zahlavova Strycova
6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Well done.  First slam main draw win since you were ill last year.  Does what mean something to you, or is that just a detail?
HEATHER WATSON:  I didn't even know that.

Q.  Obviously not.
HEATHER WATSON:  I'm happy with how I played today.  I took it like any other match that I have had this year.
I played Barbora before, last year, under different circumstances.  I was very confident when I was playing her today, even though I fresh aired a smash at the beginning.  That was really funny.  (Smiling.)
But, yeah, just happy with how I played and got through.  Just keeping focused for the next round.

Q.  Have you ever done that before in a professional match?
HEATHER WATSON:  No.  Smashes are one of my favorite shots, but you could tell I was a little, you know, not into the match straightaway, because the first point of that game I let a ball go that landed like mid‑court.  I swear it was going out.  But finally found my feet, and, yeah, I hopefully won't do that again.

Q.  You still won the point.
HEATHER WATSON:  I know.  I kept playing and it served me well.

Q.  You said the other day it's fun playing more aggressively.  Did it feel that way today with the pressure going up with each match, Grand Slam first round?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah.  I didn't feel I played as well as I have been today, but she's a very different sort of player.  She is very tricky.  She hits dropshots and comes to the net on random balls, not usually the right balls, to throw you off.
So it's different playing a different opponent.  I just had to deal with what I was given today.

Q.  Apart from the funny moment, you had a big smile on your face the whole time.
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, I think actually when I hit the ball I have that face that looks like it's smiling anyway.
But, yeah, I do.  I'm really enjoying it a lot more.  I felt like I was definitely the more aggressive player today.  If I wasn't, some of those points could have gone on forever.
Yeah, it's fun hitting winners.  (Smiling.)

Q.  You held your concentration throughout, including when it could have been 4‑1; turned out 3‑2 when you were called for the net touch.  Were you aware of that at all?
HEATHER WATSON:  I tried to play it off, but I did hit the net.  It happens.  There was no way I could have stopped to not hit the net.  Just unfortunate.
You just got to deal with how it goes.  That ended up being a really long game and losing it, but then after that I came back and was able to win the next few games.

Q.  Ever Grand Slam has a particularly different atmosphere.  When you're on a court like that, do you hear the saxophone and the accordion being played outside the court?
HEATHER WATSON:  I didn't today because the crowd was so loud.  I feel like ever year I play here I get such good support.  Just the atmosphere, loads of them are British.  They've got the British flags.  I just feel like they're really loud here.
I remember a few years ago I played Stephanie Foretz and she's a French player playing here.  The crowd was more for me than her.
I just love the atmosphere here.  I couldn't believe it when I walked on the court, the cheering just all the way throughout the match.

Q.  Obviously you've had to play at a low level to get your ranking back up.  Are you surprised just how many matches you've won this year?  It's remarkable.  You're on a huge streak at the moment.
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, I'm not surprised because that's what I do.  That's why I'm training every day, is to win matches.  And not just to play well in them, but to win them.
I've been working very hard, staying very focused, going to bed on time, eating the right things, just doing everything I possibly can to be prepared for the next day.
So it's not by accident that I'm winning these matches, it's because I've worked hard for it.

Q.  Your next opponent is clearly one of the in‑form players at the moment.  Have you seen much of her?  And the way she's played, what do you think of her progress this year especially?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, she's come up through the rankings very quickly.  I'm not surprised at that because she's got a good game.  She's very solid and makes a lot of balls.
I played her at the US Open last year.  It was a third set.  I started on fire, really well, but I kind of crashed and didn't have any energy towards the end.
I look forward to play Simona again.  She looked like she had a comfortable win today, but, yeah, looking forward to playing her again.

Q.  Was she quite a tricky opponent today in the sense that she quite emotional?  She had the time violation.  Do you have to kind of be careful not get sucked into the drama on the far side?
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, absolutely.  I expected that from her anyway.  I've played her before.  I've seen her play a lot, so I was prepared for it.
But I was quite shocked at the time violation actually.  I didn't think it was too bad.  Yeah, you just got to deal with that.  That's part of tennis, yeah.

Q.  The British No. 1 ranking is getting closer to you with every win.  Does that mean much to you, being the top Brit?
HEATHER WATSON:  I'm not really thinking about that at the moment, to be honest, at all.  I'm just thinking about‑‑ just like I've been saying, it's quite boring.  Just enjoying my tennis, doing everything I can right the right way, and all that will come with itself if I keep doing the right things.

Q.  I guess you might play on Chatrier or Lenglen possibly, which you haven't done before.  That would be exciting, I presume.  You've played on the big courts at the other slams.
HEATHER WATSON:  Yeah, I have.  I've played on Arthur Ashe.  I've played on a big court in all the slams but Roland Garros, so...
I really love playing on a big court and the atmosphere.  I love big crowds, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q.  Will you continue with that same style, that same aggressive style that's kept you going all the way through, or will you change that at all for the next round?
HEATHER WATSON:  Definitely not.  If anything, I'll try and be more aggressive against a player like that, so solid, so high up in the rankings, doing so well.
You're not going to get free points.  You have to win those matches.  That's what I'm going to have to do.  I'm not going to hope for her to miss, because she's not going to miss.

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