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Lucky Heather

Posted by gauloises1 on September 21, 2009

A nice piece on Heather Watson, the surprise US Open junior girls’ champion, who has made the decision to skip university for now and focus on trying to make it on the tour.

Having won the US Open junior title, Watson is full of optimism. With 15-year-old Laura Robson, the 2008 Wimbledon junior champion, she appears to give British women’s tennis an exciting future. Heather insists the pair are friends, as are their mothers, who regularly sit down to share a pot of tea. “Laura and Heather are pals, there’s no rivalry,” says Michelle. “They are good for one another.”

A week on from her New York success, Heather has had time to celebrate […] Most importantly, she has decided how the next chapters of her story might unfold. Despite offers of full scholarships from some of the United States’ best academic universities, she has decided she wants to be a full-time touring tennis professional. “It has taken some time to come to this decision. My parents and I spent months talking over the options,” said Heather, who is back in action this weekend in Saguenay, Canada, contesting a tournament that will bring her first pay cheque if she qualifies for the main draw.

“The prospect of university seemed the most sensible; plenty of college tennis plus the chance to get qualifications. Last weekend altered my thinking, though, and with time to reflect I can understand the feeling I got holding that trophy in New York, which was all so buzzy at the time. My dedication to tennis is 100%. I believe I can make it in the game.”

I’m fairly keen on this decision. She seems like she has an incredibly solid and supportive family behind her and if she wants to give the tour a go, why not? I wish her all the best, and that’s not just my desperation for some homegrown tennistical success talking.


I’ve also spent some minutes giggling over this first-class piece of hyperbole from Nick Bollettieri:

“Heather is exemplary as a player and a student,” he said. “She’s come through the trenches, fought like hell, become a champion but always realised the importance of her education. She’s a princess, a scholar and a warrior. A few weeks ago I agreed her best option was to go to college. Now, watching her in New York, I see her vision and agree with it. I want to work with her on a one-to-one basis, give her all my 53 years of coaching experience and I see the future as so exciting.”

She’s also the 60-Second Interview, which has a couple of good moments in it.

So, where do you go from here?
If you gave me three wishes for my career I’d want to be No 1 in the world, win all four grand-slams and be a good role model.

Reach for the stars, sister.

What about “Our Andy”? How do you get on with him?
I’ve never even spoken to Andy Murray. I have sat a few seats down from him in the players’ lounge and I see him at the National Tennis Centre [in Roehampton, southwest London], although I haven’t plucked up the courage to talk to him yet.

Are you listening, Andy? Go be a nice boy and talk to the girl.

And the best bit …

Who do you look up to in tennis?
My favourite players are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martín del Potro — I always really liked him.

A young woman of taste and discretion, clearly. Go girl.

2 Responses to “Lucky Heather”

  1. SA said

    Aww, I like her already and the first time I ever heard of her was when she won USO Juniors. Good luck to her. Hope she makes it on tour.

    Does Adidas just have every single female player from Britain signed up? I don’t think I’ve seen a picture yet of a girls player that isn’t wearing their stuff.

  2. Mango said

    I just read the full quote about her favorite players. I’m just going to pretend that the bit Gauloises chose was the whole thing. I like it better that way.

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