Heather Watson is a name to take cognizance of as long as British Tennis is concerned. She is a professional right-handed British Tennis player who developed an interest in tennis at the tender age of 7. As the story goes, she went on to attend a professional tennis academy to better her chances of thriving as a professional in the sport.
Since Watson made her professional Tennis debut, she has gone all the way to win several Junior and Senior tournaments. She is currently the third highest-ranked British female tennis player and is paving the way for other female hopefuls in her motherland.
A Love Affair That Began at the Age of Seven
Check the records, you will find that Heather Miriam Watson was born on the 19th of May 1992 and that her place of birth is St. Peter Port, Guernsey Island. It is known that she is of British nationality and mixed ethnicity, just as it is common knowledge that her fierce love for the racquet and ball game came at the tender age of seven after she followed her parents to a local tennis club. When she turned nine, Watson requested for £10 from her parents with which she entered into a local tennis contest in the neighborhood.
She eventually won the tourney to the surprise of everyone and has been heading all the way up since then. Pushed by her desire to become a professional tennis player, Heather Watson moved to Florida and enrolled at the preparatory college and sports training school, Nick Bollettieri Academy, at the age of 12. In 2006, she decided to compete in the Under-14 British championships and went on to win the tournament effortlessly.
Boosted by this success, Watson contested in the Under-16 and Under-18 Britain Championships the following year. She won the Under-16 contest but crashed out of the Under-18 after losing to the eventual winner, Tara Moore. 2008 saw Heather Watson compete in the Commonwealth Youth Games. Again, she triumphed as she won the keenly contested final against Kyra Shroff. The following year, she graduated from the Nick Bollettieri Academy at the top of her class and set her sights on studying business administration in college if she didn’t succeed at tennis.
Achieving Success on the WTA Tour
Upon graduating from the Nick Bollettieri Academy, Heather Watson made her senior career debut at the Jersey Open in March 2009. She, however, crashed out in the second round after losing to Katie O’Brien in straight sets. Following this defeat, Watson forged on and got her first senior tennis ranking (756) on 27th July 2009. Later that year, she won her first-ever ITF title in the girls’ singles category after defeating Anna Fitzpatrick at the finals in Frinton.
The year 2010 saw Watson compete in several ITF tournaments such as the ITF event in Sutton, the ITF event in Michigan, as well as the ITF event in Louisiana. She was however eliminated in the quarterfinal, first round, and again in the quarterfinal of those tournaments respectively. That same year, she made her WTA debut at the Sony Ericson Open but was eliminated in the first round by Tsvetana Pironkova.
Heather Watson’s big break eventually came in 2012. Right after several disappointing outings at the Australian Open and the French Open, she participated in the Japan Open and won the tournament by defeating Chang Kai-Chen of China in the final. This made her the first Brit to win a WTA singles tournament since 1988. Since that historic feat, Heather Watson has competed in several other tournaments and has gone on to win titles such as the Stanford classic doubles in 2012, the Texas open doubles, the 2014 Sparta Prague Open, the 2015 Hobart International and the 2016 Monterrey Open.
The Fruits of Her Exploits
Heather Watson’s success as a professional tennis player has predictably translated into significant financial rewards. The Guernsey native has picked up about $3.750 million in prize monies from her winnings on both the WTA tour and the ITF circuit. Apart from clinching several singles titles, Watson has also won some doubles and mixed-doubles tournament and has split the paycheck with her partners. Some of these victories came at the 2012 Stanford Open, 2014 Baku Cup, 2016 Wimbledon mixed doubles, and 2018 Acapulco Open doubles event.
When it comes to endorsement deals, Watson has relatively underperformed when compared to other female tennis stars. There is however a good chance that the situation would turn around if she sustains the tempo of her game. Meanwhile, the British tennis star has previously scored sponsorship deals with the likes of Benefit Cosmetics and Statoil (an international oil company). The exact worth of these deals has never been disclosed but undoubtedly, it has helped boost her career earnings.
Heather Watson’s Family Background
Watson hails from a tightknit family of six. Her mother’s name is Michelle while her father’s name is Ian Watson. The tennis star also three siblings namely brother, Adam Watson, and sisters, Stephanie and Julie Watson. Watson’s mom, Michelle, was born and raised in Papua New Guinea while her father, Ian Watson, is a native of Manchester, England.
The couple first crossed paths in 1988 in Port Moresby, New Guinea, during Ian’s time as managing director of Guernsey electricity. Shortly after meeting each other, they fell in love and decided to get married the following year. Ian subsequently took Michelle along with him to England and the rest is history. Watson remains quite close to her parents and often attributes her success to them. According to her, they sponsored her to get the best professional tennis training while her mom also quit work to accompany her on the junior circuit.
Her Supportive Boyfriend
It is often said that opposites attract but that does not seem to be the case with Watson’s love life as she has made a pattern of dating fellow athletes. Watson first dated fellow British professional tennis player, Lloyd Glasspool, in 2016. The romance lasted for a little over two years and they broke up in 2018. Watson is now going steady with a professional footballer, Courtney Duffus. Duffus is a native of Ireland and has played for teams such as Everton, Oldham Athletic, and Waterford. As of this writing, he plays for Yeovil Town in the National League.
Watson first met Duffus at a London restaurant around July 2019. They quickly hit it off but she found it difficult going steady with him as she was wary of dating footballers. The tennis star wasn’t too keen on football and found the sport quite complicated and political. Thankfully, Watson was able to overcome her initial misgivings and gave Duffus a chance. The couple has been enjoying their romance ever since and often make out time to watch each other’s games. This support system has led to an overall improvement in their respective performances.