Heather Watson reveals retirement plans before revival in Mexico

Heather Watson has admitted she briefly considered quitting tennis while in a slump of form and problems off-the-court. In 2018, Watson lost 12 times in the first round of tournaments and slipped to 101 in the world.

2019 was also a struggle for her but at the end of the year, she reached the final of the Tianjin Open before being beaten by Swedish player Rebecca Peterson.

Watson then carried that momentum into 2020 by getting through to the semi-finals as a qualifier in Hobart and last Saturday, the British player beat former top 10 ace Coco Vandeweghe at the Mexican Open on the way to reaching the final, where she defeated 17-year-old Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez in three sets.

It was Watson’s fourth title of her career, the last coming back in March 2016 at the Monterrey Open.

The 27-year-old has also found happiness off the court with Yeovil striker Courtney Duffus.

And Watson, who lost this week at the Monterrey Open to Tatjana Maria, opened up on feeling ‘low’ for some time and eventually bouncing back to winning ways.

Watson told the BBC: “I thought I wasn’t doing good enough, nor getting the satisfaction or results, so why continue to suffer through it?

“I was pretty low. I was thinking of stopping tennis. You have those thoughts and I wasn’t serious about it.

“I am loving life right now. In the long run, I need to be happy off the court to be successful on the court.


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“I’ve been loving [tennis] these past eight months. When I got to the final I did put a bit of pressure on myself. I have been so consistent; more consistent then I have been in my career.”

Meanwhile, Jo Konta got revenge for Watson when she beat Maria in straight sets on Thursday.

“It was an incredibly tough match,” Konta said.

“[Maria] is very crafty, and very creative on the court, and quite frankly made me uncomfortable today. She plays a game that is very tough to get a rhythm against.

“I’m really pleased I was able to try to play the game, find a way, and basically be able to work my way through that match.”

Konta will face talented Russian teen Anastasia Potapova in the quarter-finals on Friday.

“[Potapova is] very young, very talented, she’s playing better and better as the season’s going,” Konta added.

“She’s young, so she’s obviously going to be playing very fearless, and really I’m sure inspired and motivated. That’s also exciting for me to play.”

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