Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Wimbledon: Current British champion Watson slams lazy players

Heather Watson

Heather Watson tumbled out of Wimbledon and urged British tennis bosses to step in and stop lazy players wasting their talent.

Watson wants the Lawn Tennis Association to tell under-achieving prospects they cannot pick and choose when they commit to training.

The current British number one gave a decent account of herself in the second round during a battling three-set defeat to ninth seed Angelique Kerber.

Watson admitted she sympathised with the view of Dan Evans' departing coach Julian Hoferlin that British players are "too spoilt".

Hoferlin has left his LTA coaching post by launching a withering attack on the state of the British game, telling Belgian radio station RTBF there is no "exceptional tennis culture".

Watson backed up that claim in the wake of her 6-2 5-7 6-1 loss to Germany's world number seven Kerber on Centre Court yesterday.

"I understand where he's coming from," said Watson. "I see it with some more than others.

"You know, we are a strong, rich federation, so I can see that people would say that whether we're doing well or not.

"You can see that with those rich federations. I see his point.

"I see some players not working week-in, week-out, kind of choosing when they want to work.

"Not just the players, but I think the coaches let them slip, let them get away with it. Nothing is said if they just don't want to play that week or don't want to give it."

Watson has battled back into the world's top 60 after a wretched 2013 blighted by glandular fever.

Kerber backed Watson for a successful career.

"I think she has a great future, she played well," said Kerber.

"She hits the balls very fast, and deep to the lines. She's a very tough opponent, so you need to beat her."

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