One To Watch: Heather Watson
Heather Watson is a young talent with more than just potential. In the last few months Heather has won the Junior US Open, joined the pro circuit, and broken into the women’s top 600.
The Guernsey born player began her trade playing short tennis on the Channel Islands, winning both the Under 8 and Under 9 National Championships. A product of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, Heather has naturally raised eyebrows, but winning the Junior US Open has built new anticipation around the young star.
Watson, the 11th seed, came from 3-1 down in the first set to win 6-4, 6-1 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The straight-sets win over Russia’s Yana Buchina was no surprise as Heather also reached the quarter-finals in this year’s Australian Open Juniors.
Building on her U.S title the young sensation has also notched impressive wins on the Aegon Pro Series. Currently ranked 554th in singles and 585th in doubles on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, the young 17-year-old will be itching to pick up points at the start of the new season in January.
Heather’s playing style has been likened to Martina Hingis; she has a high level of cunning and intelligence matched with good court sense. This is backed up with tremendous athleticism, amazing footwork and an intuitive strength for baseline bashing.
The right hander’s best surface is hard court, but being a British player she will inevitably have the task of tailoring her game for the home crowd at next year’s Wimbledon Championships. With a solid serve and willingness to fight for every point Heather sees herself as a ‘female Tsonga’.
Heather enjoys a healthy rivalry with fellow Brit Laura Robson who she recently overtook to become the highest ranked British junior. The players have a good relationship off court and there is talk of the two pairing up for a doubles partnership early next year.
Naturally, Watson has already attracted big sponsorship interest from the likes of Adidas, Head and Sporting Bet. 2010 will be an interesting challenge for the strong teen, her astute playing style and tough mentality will stand her in good stead to climb sufficient rankings in her first full year on the pro tour.
Country: United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 19th May 1992
Height: 5ft 7in
Favourite Surface: Hard
Plays: Right Handed(double handed backhand)
Highest Ranking: 588 2 Nov 2009
Oliver Ewbank has worked as a professional tennis coach, as well as freelance sports journalist. He has also edited various online sports publications.