Watson capable of top 30 place

Heather Watson

Heather Watson reached a career-high world ranking of 38 in January 2015

Heather Watson is capable of breaking into the world’s top 30 by the end of 2016, according to former Great Britain Fed Cup captain Judy Murray.

Guernsey-born Watson, 24, is ranked 54 before next week’s French Open, where she has progressed to the second round in four of the past five years.

“I set her a target of top 30 by the end of the year,” said Murray, who coached Watson at the Australian Open.

“I’m absolutely convinced that if she works hard she will make that.”

Watson, who partnered Andy Murray at the Hopman Cup this year, was knocked out of the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, in the first round by Hungary’s Timea Babos.

She has since gone on to win her third WTA title, the Monterey Open in March.


Judy Murray coached Heather Watson for six weeks at the start of this year

Last year, Watson almost caused the biggest upset of the tournament at Wimbledon, getting within two points of beating Serena Williams in the third round.

However, the American world number one recovered to win the match in three thrilling sets and eventually clinch her sixth title at the All England Club.

And while Murray believes Williams and world number five Victoria Azarenka are the leading two players in the world at the moment, she says there is a group of evenly matched players close behind, of which Watson is one.

“On any given day any of them can beat each other, so I think the women’s game is wide open,” Murray told BBC Radio Guernsey.

“Heather has a very solid game from the back of the court and she’s becoming much more aggressive, much more adventurous. She is adding things to her game like the drop shot, the little slices and things, which give her variety, so I think on any given day she can give any of them a run for their money.

“She came close to beating Serena at Wimbledon last year, which gave us all a heart attack and huge excitement at the same time, but I’m looking forward to seeing her competing in both of the slams again and showing what she can do.”

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