LONDON (Reuters) - Such was Heather Watson’s mood after one of her worst disappointments in losing to Germany’s Annika Beck 3-6 6-0 12-10 at Wimbledon on Thursday, the British number two went online to see what the internet trolls where saying about her.
“After a loss like this, I‘m so angry with myself, I feel like I need to punish myself,” she told reporters. “It wasn’t a good day. I just went on Twitter. There was plenty.”
The social media abuse directed at players, the women in particular, has been a running theme of the news conferences at this year’s tournament, with many saying they simply ignore it.
No such tactic for Watson and nor did it lift what she described as her “the worst mood ever”.
“Definitely not. Why would that cheer me up, people saying nasty things?,” she said.
Her frustration was also evident on court as Watson, 24, earned a warning for smashing her racket at the changeover after the evenly matched pair traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the third set.
Watson, who came within two points of beating eventual champion Serena Williams in the third round last year, had clawed her way back into the much delayed first-round clash after losing nine straight games in the second set and start of the third.
Williams could have been on the horizon again in the third round, but Watson, world number 55, missed three match points with the score at 10-9 in the decider.
Beck, who needed treatment on her ankle after tumbling in the damp conditions before play was abandoned on Wednesday, held her nerve to break Watson and hold her own serve, reaching the second round after two hours 52 minutes on court.
The three-day tussle was the longest women’s match of the tournament so far.
Praising Beck as a “wall” who does not miss anything, Watson said: “Obviously, having match points in the match, not being able to win here at Wimbledon, is the worst.”
Having secured a berth at the Rio Olympics in August, which she described as a priority for the year, is a bright spot, however, and Watson was already thinking about how to improve her game and her training.
“I get motivated quickly with losses like this. I just really want to improve in every area and see what I need to fix, see what needs to stay and what needs to go,” she said.
Beck, ranked 43rd, will play Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in the second round. Sasnovich beat French 31st seed Kristina Mladenovic.
Editing by Ed Osmond