• WTA

Watson: I need to be more aggressive

ESPN staff
July 29, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Heather Watson is excited to add a new, aggressive side to her game © PA Photos
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Heather Watson has admitted the need to add an aggressive side to her game as she prepares for life with a new coach.

On Saturday, British No. 2 Watson confirmed her split from Mauricio Hadad and revealed she would be working with leading LTA coach Jeremy Bates in preparation for the US hard-court season.

The 21-year-old faces qualifier Alexandra Mueller in the first round of the Citi Open on Tuesday, and stated she wants to take a more forceful approach when stepping out on court.

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"It's always going to be a tough decision," said Watson. "At the end of the day it's my job, it's a business. I've got to do what is right for me and my career.

"In today's game you need to be aggressive, but also very consistent. It's not all about trying to smack loads of winners, it's also about chasing down balls and making a lot of balls and I have that. I feel like I need to add the winners and the aces to my game.

"I said this to my family. I got to [number] 39 in the world not doing all these amazing things but just with my regular game, so imagine if I did add coming to the net, a massive serve and slice into my game.

"Imagine what I could do then. I think it's very exciting and I'm looking forward to it."

Watson recently spent two months on the sidelines with glandular fever, before returning at the French Open where she was beaten in the first round.

The Brit was then knocked out of Wimbledon at the same stage by American Madison Keys, admitting afterwards she was still suffering with the effects of the illness.

As a result of the absence, Watson fell from a career-high world No. 39 to 76 in the world rankings. However, she now believes she is reaching peak condition after spending time training in America.

"I'm feeling really good," Watson said. "I've been in Florida for the past three weeks where it's super-hot and humid.

"I've had so much on-court time and done a lot of fitness, so I'm feeling very good now. I'm feeling the best that I've felt this year.

"It's been a really tough year for me having finished 2012 well and got to my career high, only to then kind of have it taken away a bit.

"We're over halfway through the year but I feel like it's the start for me now, because it's the first time I've felt good, healthy and ready to play."

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