Jun 23rd, 2013, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: In The Lost Woods
Re: *Vika Azarenka Cheering Thread* - Vikalume 4.
Heather on the top players. Random article but it think it's interesting.
Big shots like Serena and Sharapova blank us... but I couldn't be like that, reveals British No 2 Watson
Heather Watson claims she does not need to be mean to win, despite revealing that the top players in the world wilfully ignore lower-ranked opposition in the locker room.
Watson is widely acknowledged as one of the friendliest players on the women's tour, happy to shoot the breeze about everything from a battle to get fit to looking for a new apartment and having her nails painted gold for Wimbledon.
But the British No 2 claims that Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska make a point of 'blanking' her and the other women and girls off-court.
'I don't think it's to do with being younger,' said Watson. 'I think it's based on ranking. Especially the top three and four in the world won't talk to anybody. Victoria Azarenka does say hello but the other three make an effort not to.
'I could never be like that, it would be too difficult for me. I think I've tried it a few times to be, "I'm not talking to you" but I couldn't do it. It's just not me.
'That's what they do, that's just how they operate. They don't want to give you anything, no weakness, nothing. I don't see it as a weakness. Fair enough, don't talk while you're playing, fine. But off the court we're still human beings. You do need to be ruthless but I don't think you need to blank everybody.'
Many players are instructed by their coaches from a young age to not engage in friendships with competitors. Watson, who trained at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida, where Sharapova and the Williams sisters also trained, has been told by Bollettieri that she should be meaner.
'If he sees me, Nick always calls me over and has a go at me,' said Watson.
'He says, "Come over here. You're too nice, you cannot be like this. Don't talk to anyone, don't socialise with anybody, you've got to be mean". I gave it a go but it just didn't work.'
Watson's ascent, which saw her reach a world-ranking high of 39 in February, was halted by a bout of glandular fever which saw her take a two-month break.
Her first-round opponent is 18-year-old American Madison Keys, whose big-hitting game is in direct contrast to Watson.
If Watson can overcome Keys, Monica Niculescu or Mona Barthel await in the second round.
A rematch with Radwanska, who beat her in the third round on Centre Court last year, could come after that.
Kappa = Grey Space (no face)