Heather Watson, tennis is elementary
Heather Watson knew tennis was her game from the beginning.
"She paid for her own lessons," her mother, Michelle, said Sunday after the British 18-year-old had played her way into the main draw of the Family Circle Cup.
"She was doing too many things ... dancing, swimming, Brownies. I told her she had to give up something, so she saved the money her grandmother sent her and used it to pay for tennis lessons."
That was back in Guernsey, England, when Watson was 7. She has been training the last six years out of the famed Bollettieri Academy as well as the National Tennis Center in London. Ranked 123rd in the world, Watson is now a prime prospect to help lead the British out of their tennis doldrums.
Scoring a 6-1, 7-6 victory over Lenka Wienerova, of Slovakia, in the second round of qualifying on Sunday to advance into the Family Circle Cup might have been a good omen for Watson. She has advanced through qualifying three previous times this year, and each time she reached the quarterfinals of the main draw ($220,000 events in Auckland and Memphis, Tenn., and a $100,000 tournament in Nassau, Fla.).
"Hopefully, I can go further this time," said the enthusiastic Watson while eating lunch in the clubhouse, surrounded by family and friends. "It's important that my family (mother and retired father) travels with me."
Watson, whose first-round match today against American Christina McHale will be the second match on the Althea Gibson Club Court, was pleased with her play on clay.
"The more I play on clay, the better I get. My game automatically changes, getting more spin and height on my shots."