Heather Watson looks to Rio after claiming mixed doubles title at Wimbledon

Heather Watson believes her first Grand Slam success in Wimbledon’s mixed doubles will be the perfect inspiration for next month’s Olympic Games in Rio.

Watson cut a glum figure at the All England Club after a first round exit in the women’s singles but put a smile on her face with a run to the mixed doubles final, alongside Finnish partner Henri Kontinen.

The pair had never played before this week but forged an instant chemistry, beating Robert Farah and Anna-Lena Gronefeld 7-6, 6-4 to secure the title.

Following Andy Murray’s victory in the men’s singles, it’s the first time in Wimbledon history that British players have claimed two titles on the final Sunday.


And it means that British number two Watson will now head to the Olympic Games in Rio brimming with confidence.

“I’m just so freaking happy,” said Watson, the first British woman to win a senior Wimbledon title since Jo Durie in 1987.

“Who would have thought we’d be here as champions, especially after such a horrible first round loss in the singles.

“I’ve made it to the last day of Wimbledon, which has been always one of my goals to reach just the second week of a slam.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to be a Grand Slam champion. I would take anything – singles, doubles or mixed doubles.

“I couldn’t have chosen anybody better to do it with than Henri and he made our time on court so fun.

“We didn’t think about winning. We just wanted to go out there and just enjoy our time and now we’re Grand Slam champions, Wimbledon champions.”

Watson followed Murray’s victory over Milos Raonic on television in the changing rooms on what was a memorable day for British tennis, with Gordon Reid winning the men’s wheelchair singles title and Jordanne Whiley the women’s wheelchair doubles.

Her immediate pressing concern is what to wear to the Wimbledon winners’ dinner, to which she is now a guest of honour, but then it will be all focus on the Olympic Games, with two hard court tournaments in the USA before heading to Brazil.

Four years ago she admitted disappointment when overlooked for the mixed doubles spot at London 2012, Laura Robson instead being selected to partner Andy Murray, the pair going on to win silver.

The final doubles pairings will be decided by tennis team leader Iain Bates in the days ahead but Watson makes no secret of the fact she wants to fight for medals on as many fronts as possible.

“I’m going to take a few days off because I need a little break,” she added.

“I’m very excited about the Olympics and I’ve worked really hard for it and it’s been the main goal for me this year.

“I had such a great experience at London 2012 and I can’t wait to have the opportunity again to represent my country and be part of the Olympic Games.”

Related Articles