Bates backs Watson
Tuesday 15th October 2013, 11:45AM BST.
HAVING sat as high as 39th in the WTA world rankings on 25 February, Heather Watson has slipped well outside the top 100.
Her first-round exit at the Japan Open and consequent failure to defend a stack of points gained in winning the event 12 months earlier means she is now down to 133rd in the new set of rankings published yesterday.
Meanwhile, having been British No. 1 early in 2013, she now finds herself behind both Laura Robson (46) and the emerging Johanna Konta (115).
Yesterday Watson was beaten 6-0, 5-7, 6-2 by world No. 63 Yanina Wickmayer in the first round of the BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open.
However, the Lawn Tennis Association’s leading women’s coach Jeremy Bates has backed Watson, whose slump has coincided with a bout of glandular fever, to bounce back.
‘I told her last week, “you don’t get to 40 in the world without some serious game”. It was no fluke and she can reach that, and go higher, again in the future,’ he said.