Roland Garros

Monday, 31 May 2021

Paris, France

Heather Watson

Press Conference

Z. DIYAS/H. Watson

6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It seemed to be going quite well, and then there was a sort of period when she really got on top, late first set. Was it a loss of concentration or did she just raise it? What happened there?

HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. I felt I started pretty well. I definitely could have broadened the gap. I missed a fair few opportunities.

But tennis-wise I felt like my game was there. I was hitting well. I just struggled physically today. Wasn't able to focus on executing my game plan and stuff, because I just didn't feel well physically. Just struggled with energy and stuff. Yeah, didn't feel good.

Q. Do you know why that is? You talked the other day about having a few physical issues. Was it sort of a legacy of that, you think, or not playing matches or just today you didn't feel good?

HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I think a bit of everything. I have had a cold this week. Haven't been able to practice as much as I wanted to before in the weeks prior because of the injuries. I have had to take lots of days off that I wouldn't usually have. So many things, yeah.

Q. You had your shoulder strapped up as well. Is that causing you pain during matches? Just generally, how would you describe yourself physically at the moment?

HEATHER WATSON: Yeah. I mean, it's still painful, but I don't think it affected my tennis too much today. I think it was more just my fitness as a whole rather than specifically the shoulder. But obviously the shoulder doesn't help. But, yeah.

Q. Just looking ahead to the grass season, I'm kind of assuming you'll play at least Nottingham and Birmingham plus Eastbourne ahead of Wimbledon. I'm wondering how you're kind of viewing going back, because I think you live mainly in London, how it's going to be kind of living back in a bubble even in your own country? Have you kind of considered what that's going to be like?

HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, definitely I have thought about it. I mean, it's not ideal but it has to be done.

I actually think I heard yesterday that the men in Nottingham and Eastbourne will be allowed to go out but the women won't. I don't know if that's right or if you guys maybe know more than I do about that. Maybe I have got that completely wrong, but someone told me that that's how it could be, which that's really interesting.

Yeah, it's obviously -- I'd prefer it not be like that, but that's how it is.

Q. Aside from the bubbles, then, how much are you looking forward to getting back on the grass, obviously not had any grass court tournaments since 2019? Do you feel that the grass could maybe be the thing to kick-start your season?

HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to getting back on the grass. To be honest, I'm just really looking forward to getting some good training and some good practice matches in, because I have just been lacking that this whole clay court season. It's just a bit of a write-off for me, unfortunately.

Even today was a big opportunity. I just wasn't able to take it with my preparations. Yeah, really looking forward to the grass.

Q. When we played the French Open last time you caused quite a stir in the interview room by telling it like it is about the players coming up behind. Do you remember that?


Q. Did you get any blow-back from that? Have you seen any signs of improvement on that front?

HEATHER WATSON: I haven't -- I mean, there hasn't been anything dramatically that's changed or anything, but I hope we can just get more players in the top 100. I think that should be a big goal, focus on that. Because when you look at countries like Italy, especially on the male side, and Czech Republic, I feel like they have so much strength and depth.

I think if we have that, that will help produce more players. Because when you're, yeah, when you've just got more competition, it pushes you more.

Q. To follow that, is it a question of money or mindset in British tennis?

HEATHER WATSON: I don't know. Obviously tennis is an expensive sport. But, you know, it can definitely be done. One of my closest friends, Naomi Broady, she never had any funding and she got 60, top 70 in the world. It can definitely be done. It definitely helps. I think it would be good. You know, we're a strong nation.

Sorry, I just can't be bothered to talk about this now. I'm not feeling great. Yeah, I just -- I'd love to see British tennis do well.

Q. Getting back to the practice, I'm curious, physically is the goal like to start practicing as soon as possible and get your level up? Or do you feel like you need to take some time off again since you're not feeling well today?

HEATHER WATSON: Yeah, I think it's the opposite. I need to -- I haven't been able to train as much as I wanted to, so I need to just get back on the court straightaway.

I just feel absolutely knackered now after a two-set singles match which I shouldn't be feeling. So, yeah, I just want to get back out there as soon as possible and just be healthy, be training healthy and feel good on the match court.

Q. Obviously the Olympics cutoff is after this tournament. Have you been chatting to other players who might withdraw and...(lost audio).

HEATHER WATSON: No, I haven't been talking about it to anyone really. I hope I play. It's out of my control now now that I'm out of this tournament, so I just can hope for the best really.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108162-1-1145 2021-05-31 14:33:00 GMT

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