Watson compared to Hingis
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:48
Nigel Sears, the former coach to Daniela Hantuchova who now heads up women’s coaching at the Lawn Tennis Association, spoke of the likeness after Watson saw off Yana Buchina in straight sets in the girls’ final.
“I’m so pleased for Heather, she’s been a good player for a while and this win – and the 10,000 US dollars event she won in the summer, will really help her to believe that she has so much more success to come. said Sears. “Heather reminds me of Martina Hingis at that age. She is a well-balanced player who anticipates well, has great footwork and a great instinct for the game. She’s a very complete, all-round player.”
The similarities may be valid at a certain level, but a striking difference between Watson and Hingis is that at 17 years old Hingis had won four grand slam singles titles at senior level, whereas Watson has only now made her majors breakthrough as a junior.
The 15-year-old Laura Robson may be a more likely candidate to challenge at the top end of the women’s game in years to come, but after Watson’s glory in New York the focus is on the girl from Guernsey who has benefited from a tennis education in Florida.
Watson’s game has been developed at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton – tennis guru Bollettieri also had an input in Hingis’ career – over the past five years.
Speaking after her 6-4 6-1 win over Buchina, Watson said: “At 12 I decided, because I live on a small island, Guernsey, and there aren’t many places to train, that I’d go to a tennis school, and we started to look around in England and France and Spain, and also we went to Bollettieri.
“When we went there, I decided that’s where I wanted to go.
“The weather is very convenient. I like that there were a lot of people, a lot of competition, and just the structure of how things worked.”