Watson Feels For Murray's Major Heartache
Published July 12, 2012 02:13
STANFORD, CA, USA - Some tennis players go on court poker faced, steadfastly determined to give nothing away in the heat of battle. Others adopt a more heart-on-sleeve approach.
Heather Watson, it is safe to say, falls into the latter category.
Charismatic, emotional and with a seemingly inexhaustible reserve of energy, five minutes watching Watson and you are likely to have a fair idea not only of how she is feeling, but also how the match is going.
It is therefore no surprise to hear that Andy Murray's tearful runner-up speech at Wimbledon on Sunday struck a chord with his fellow Briton.
"I was watching Andy's speech after the match by the pool and I was bawling my eyes out," a typically candid Watson said after her first round match at this week's Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. "It was actually kind of embarrassing!
"But I love that he was emotional then, it shows how much he cares and what this means to him and how tough it has been to lose in those finals. His time will come, we all believe in him."
Belief is something which has played an important role in Watson's own progression, taking her from talented junior to a high-flying member of the Top 100.
However, were it not for a life-changing few weeks in New York three summers ago, the 20-year-old might have been celebrating her university exam results this week instead of playing in Stanford.
"Before the junior US Open, I was thinking about going to college as I hadn't been doing well in juniors," she said. "I had got to No.11 in the world but you have to be at the top and winning the junior Grand Slams to make it on the WTA tour.
"But after I won the US Open, it changed everything and I thought: 'You know what? I'm going to go for it, otherwise I'm going to regret it and not see how far I could have gone' and I'm so glad I made that decision."
And with every passing tournament that decision is looking wiser and wiser.
A promising spring - she reached the third round in Miami and came through qualifying to make the second round at Roland Garros - was followed up by a breakthrough in front of her home fans on the lawns of the All-England Club.
"I think getting through that first match on Centre Court was huge for me," Watson added. "I really felt the crowd this year more than the others because I've come through. I just love the feeling. I want it more. I can't wait till next year.
"Since I've been on the tour I've just been improving and my ranking has been going higher and higher. I'm learning new things, adding new things to my game, and always trying to learn and do anything I can to make myself a better tennis player."