Watson hails Murray as a role model

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Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Heather Watson has hailed Andy Murray as a “great role model” for British players after reaching a career-high world ranking on the eve of the Australian Open.

Watson partnered Murray in the Hopman Cup in Perth last week and then won the second WTA Tour title of her career in Hobart on Saturday, beating American qualifier Madison Brengle 6-3 6-4 in the final.

The 22-year-old won her maiden title in Osaka at the end of the 2012 season, ending a 24-year wait for a British female champion on the main tour, and bounced back from an injury-blighted 2013 by climbing back into the top 50 last season.

On the back of the Hobart win she will take on Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the opening round in Melbourne on Tuesday ranked 38th in the world, having climbed up from 49th to eclipse her previous best of 39th from February 2013.

Murray took to Twitter to congratulate Watson and fellow Briton Kyle Edmund for coming through qualifying, while the former Wimbledon champion also invited James Ward to his winter training camp in Florida.

“He’s such a good person to look up to, he’s so nice and friendly off the court,” Watson told Press Association Sport. “I learnt a lot from him on and off the court at the Hopman Cup.

“I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to play with him and just see how professional, hardworking and competitive he is. It was great for me to see that and it gives me a boost, thinking he’s my partner.

“I’m sure he’s helping the other guys. He’s a great role model for us British players to have.”

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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