Watson looks to future after Wimbledon campaign concludes

26 June 2014 / 23:43

Outclassed, outlasted and ultimately out - Heather Watson admitted the pressure got to her after her Wimbledon campaign ended in the second round.

Defeat to Germany’s Angelique Kerber, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, leaves Andy Murray as the sole standard bearer of British tennis in the singles draw - a role he's grown accustomed to performing with distinction at the All England Club.

And it will serve as a valuable lesson for Watson, who paid the price for her sluggish start.

The British number one only knows one way to play - and that's going at her opponents, showing no mercy, being aggressive - it's the brand of tennis trademarked at Nick Bollettieri's fabled academy in Florida.

However, sometimes it pays to play the percentages and that was the difference on Centre Court on Thursday.

Watson has never beaten a top ten ranked player and ninth seed Kerber, a semi-finalist here two years ago, had a game plan that she exploited, proving that the ability to outthink a rival is often more valuable than simply outmuscling them.

"I've got to start playing well from the beginning, from the very first point," admitted Watson.

"I was very tentative and I missed a lot of easy balls.  I wasn't making a lot of first serves.

"I'm glad that I got into it and started playing better. The second set I kept fighting through and I found my way.  

"I think from both of us there was some unbelievable tennis. In the third set I felt I was still playing well, but I didn't take my chances."

But Watson shouldn't be too downcast about this defeat, considering 12 months ago she looked a shadow of the player that won the US Open junior title after she was struck down by glandular fever.

New coach Diego Veronelli has made a big impact on her game, she's won tour titles in Michigan and Prague and seen her ranking fall from 150 to 60. She's also now heading for the US hard courts, her most familiar surface, so there is sound reason for optimism.

"I'm very pleased with where I am now," added Watson. "Last year was tough but the way this year's gone so far, I would've taken it if you'd told me in January.

"I'm positive about my game.  I feel like it's a lot stronger than it has been.  I'm getting a lot more consistent results. With more experience playing these top players, I think next time I'll get that win I want."

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