She's number 2 in the UK and one of a new generation of top tennis players that Britain have got to look forward to. Grazia caught up with 21-year-old tennis superstar Heather Watson to talk women in sports, fashion and the pressures of playing at Wimbledon.
After the year you guys have had do you think female sports players are finally becoming as popular as the guys?
I feel like a lot more people are coming to watch the women now. Especially after the Olympics because obviously we got so much recognition, but I just wish it was like that anyway. I wish we didn’t have to like fight for it and I feel like we should be on that level anyway.
Do you know whether you’ll be competing at Wimbledon?
Touch wood, if I’m all healthy I’ll definitely be playing Wimbledon!
Do you feel pressure to play on home turf?
I really enjoy playing at Wimbledon. It’s my favourite tournament to play at. I love it because of the home crowd support. People can take it in different ways and feel like the pressure is too much and that makes them too nervous, but I really do like it. I want that pressure on me because I know it will push me to be better.
Do you miss your family on the road?
I hardly get to see my parents but while I’m on the road I prefer just to be just with my team and my coaches because I feel I’m being more professional and it’s easier to focus.
Do you chat them regularly?
I’m actually so rubbish at keeping in contact but I talk to them at least every two days.
What time do you go to bed normally? Do you have to be strict when you’re training?
Oh yes definitely, otherwise I’ll just be exhausted the next day! But I probably go to bed around 10, 10:30.
And what time do you have to get up?
Today 7. I need 9 hours minimum.
Is that because you’re so physically active?
I guess so, my body needs so much sleep. I don’t know how people can survive off less than 9 hours. I’ll struggle the next day otherwise.
Have you always wanted to be a tennis player?
Yeah, I feel like there is nothing else. For me it has always been tennis. Actually, I was going to go to college in the states because I felt I wasn’t getting the results I wanted to turn professional. At the end of the day if you’re not getting the results you can’t be a tennis player. It wasn’t until I won the Junior US Open that I was like, “Great this is it! This is my sign, I’m going do it, I’m going to go pro because I don’t want to look back and wonder how far I could have gone.” I don’t know what other job I’d do I didn’t have tennis.
Is it hard to keep in touch with friends and boyfriends on the road?
If a girl does have a boyfriend, the boyfriend travels with them quite a lot. But for me, I’m single right now. It would probably be a lot easier to talk to a tennis guy, but then if things didn’t end up too good, you’d be seeing them all the time. So I think I’d want to steer clear of the tennis guys.
Can you drink or are you on a strict diet?
I don’t drink but that’s out of my choice.
You're working with Benefit Cosmetics now - how are you finding it?
Yeah! I’m so happy, I love getting dressed up. I’m really into fashion. It’s hard because I can’t bring my whole wardrobe with me every time I’m on the road. So I can’t always wear the things that I want to wear. I really do love fashion and keeping up with it. And makeup, I love doing my makeup! Now that I’m with Benefit I’ve started to try new things. I never used to wear foundation and I’m wearing it a lot more.
What do you do to make yourself feel girly?
I think you judge someone’s character by what they wear and how they do their makeup. I love to express myself with makeup and clothes and it’s so much fun.
Have you got any favourite designers, or are you more of a high-street girl?
Well my favourite place to shop at is Zara, I just love Zara. But my favourite designer to see people wearing is Alexander McQueen - I think he’s probably my favourite.
Do you wear heels when you go out?
Oh yeah! I absolutely love heels, I wish I could wear them more often and bring them all with me. I bring 5 pairs of tennis shoes on the road so that takes up my shoe space.
What do you wear on your off days?
If I have an off day and I’m going to do something fun, I’ll probably wear flat shoes because I don’t want to break an ankle and my feet will get tired. But if it’s a nice event in the evening, definitely 100 per cent wear heels.
What’s your favourite style at the moment?
I like just pumps, the ones Rihanna always wears. I don’t wear the platform ones, I don’t really like those too much. I love Christian Louboutin, but I’ll never have a pair of those.
Heather Watson is an ambassador for Benefit and will be playing at the Aegon Classic which takes place 9-16 June, in Birmingham. Ladies’ Day takes place on Thursday 13 June. For tickets visit the Aegon Classic website.