Watson wake-up call to Brit stars

Congleton Guardian: Great Britain's Heather Watson bowed out to Angelique Kerber on Wimbledon's Centre Court Great Britain's Heather Watson bowed out to Angelique Kerber on Wimbledon's Centre Court

Heather Watson tumbled out of Wimbledon and urged British tennis bosses to step in and stop lazy players wasting their talent.

Watson wants the Lawn Tennis Association to tell under-achieving prospects they cannot pick and choose when they commit to training.

The current British number one gave a decent account of herself in the second round during a battling three-set defeat to ninth seed Angelique Kerber.

Watson admitted she sympathised with the view of Dan Evans' departing coach Julian Hoferlin that British players are "too spoilt".

Hoferlin has left his LTA coaching post by launching a withering attack on the state of the British game, telling Belgian radio station RTBF there is no "exceptional tennis culture".

Watson backed up that claim in the wake of her 6-2 5-7 6-1 loss to Germany's world number seven Kerber on Centre Court on Thursday.

"I understand where he's coming from," said Watson. "I see it with some players more than others.

"You know, we are a strong, rich federation, so I can see that people would say that whether we're doing well or not.

"You can see that with those rich federations. I see his point.

"I see some players not working week-in, week-out, kind of choosing when they want to work.

"Not just the players, but I think the coaches let them slip, let them get away with it.

"Nothing is said if they just don't want to play that week or don't want to give it.

"I don't think it's all the players, I think it's the coaches too."

Guernsey native Watson has battled back into the world's top 60 after a wretched 2013 entirely blighted by glandular fever.

The 22-year-old underlined her fighting spirit in shrugging off a sloppy 26-minute spell that handed Kerber the first set to force a decider.

Former Belgium Davis Cup captain Hoferlin criticised Birmingham's Evans this week, questioning his desire to succeed.

"He has the potential to make himself a top-60 player," said Hoferlin. "But he makes no sacrifices for his sport."

Watson admitted she has watched current British players ease through training regimes.

"If a player wants to make it, it's all up to them," said Watson.

"I do see where he's coming from with some players; with others, I do feel they give a lot of the hard work.

"For example, I see Katy Dunne. I did an off-season training camp with her, and every single day she worked hard and pushed.

"Then I've done it with others and I saw a very different story."

Dunne, 19, is the current world number 380 and British number eight.

Ross Hutchins, back in the doubles fold after beating cancer, admitted British tennis suffers chronic underachievement, but refused to endorse Hoferlin's "spoilt" claim.

"Apart from Andy (Murray), our players could be higher ranked," said Hutchins, who lost out to Pablo Cuevas and David Marrero in the doubles with Colin Fleming.

"The resources and the juniors we have, we would hope to have more progression from the age of 17 to 20 and onwards.

"As of spoilt, I don't really know. Julien would have a pretty good estimation of that considering he was right in the mix of it.

"I think we get given a lot, I think we're appreciative of it."

Lamenting her sluggish start against Kerber, Watson vowed to herself to back her aggressive style from the off in future.

"I was very tentative, I missed a lot of easy balls," said Watson of her first-set nightmare.

"I'm glad that I got into it and started playing better - I just want to play like that more consistently now."

German Kerber's superior accuracy and experience guided her past Watson. The 26-year-old admitted she had to fight for progress however, backing Watson for a successful career.

"I think she has a great future, she played well," said Kerber, who will play 24th seed Kirsten Flipkens in the third round.

"She hits the balls very fast, and deep to the lines. She's a very tough opponent, so you need to beat her."

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