HEATHER Watson is taking inspiration from Andy Murray and Laura Robson’s success at Wimbledon as she bids to return to top form.
British No 2 Watson was preparing for a hard block of training in the United States as Murray defeated Novak Djokovic on Sunday to become Wimbledon champion.
Watson reached the third round at the All England Club last year but went out in the opening round this time against rising American star Madison Keys and yesterday dropped to 68th in the rankings.
Watson was playing in only her fourth tournament since two months out with glandular fever and admitted after the Keys defeat that she was still feeling the effects of her time off. The 21-year-old then had to watch as Robson, who took over the British No 1 spot while Watson was sidelined, went on to reach the fourth round.
The two are good friends, but there is also a rivalry. When Robson ended a long British wait by reaching a WTA Tour final last September, Watson went out three weeks later and won the title in Osaka. Watson, an HSBC Ambassador, said of Robson’s run: “She did brilliantly. She had a very tough first round to get through and I think once she got through that it gave her confidence to carry on.
“It inspires me, and what Andy’s doing, and also my loss. I’m still not over it. For Wimbledon it takes a lot longer.
“When it hits me hard is the next morning when I wake up because you’ve been unconscious, your mind’s at rest, and then you wake up and then it’s like, ‘Oh, I lost’.
“It makes me determined for the whole hard-court season, and I’m so determined for my next tournament now.”
Watson headed home to Guernsey for the weekend, where she discussed her targets for the next part of the season with dad Ian. The family then travelled to America, where Watson spends most of the time when she is not playing tournaments training at Nick Bolletieri’s academy in Florida.
Watson hopes a three-week training block will help her get back to peak form and fitness before her next tournament in Washington, which starts on 29 July.
“I want to get good preparation in before the hard-court season, which I haven’t had yet since I’ve been back,” she added. “I feel I need it, my team thinks I need it. I’m looking forward to getting into it.
“It’s really frustrating not to be at my best. I think that’s the tough part, but there’s never going to be an easy way back or an easy way of winning matches. It all takes time, hours put in and hard work.”