Britain's Heather Watson, ranked No. 75 in the world, says that support from her footballer boyfriend 24 year old Courtney Duffus, who plays for the club Yeovil, has helped her rediscover her form on the court and made her happier off the court as well.
Speaking to The Herald Scotland, Watson says, “Actually since we both met each other we’re both doing a lot, lot better. I don’t like to let boys have too much influence over me but he has really been a good influence.
He’s so calm, level-headed. I think you all know I’m quite emotional. He’s just really, really supportive. He gets up at all hours of the night, he watched all my matches in Hobart. I just need that”. Watson has had a good start to the season where she reached the semi-finals of the WTA Hobart event after coming through the qualifiers.
She enters Melbourne this year in a completely different frame of mind as compared to last year. "It is incredible the contrast between how I was last year and how I am this year. Just in life in general, I feel in a very good place, very happy, the support system around me is great and I think that’s really showing with my tennis and my results the last five, six months or so.
(When I met him) at that stage of my life I had no interest in boys. I thought they were the worst. I didn’t want a boyfriend for a long, long time so for me it was just going to be a fun night. Nice meal, meet someone new and then that’s it.
He had other plans”. Watson says she is also looking forward to playing in the Fed Cup tie for Great Britain against Slovakia, which takes place after the Australian Open, especially after missing out a home tie last year.
"It was such a shame for me because all those years I’ve played Fed Cup and the one year it’s in England I was sick and then the third player in the team so didn’t get to play. I was really gutted because a home tie was all I wanted for so long and to play in front of the home crowd.
But hopefully we will get there again”. Watson begins her campaign at the Australian Open against Czech left hander Krystina Pliskova in the first round on Tuesday.