Heather Watson happy to be back at Wimbledon as she deals with theft of her car

Heather Watson happy to be back at Wimbledon as she deals with theft of her car

Even having her car stolen has not wiped the smile off Heather Watson’s face as she looks forward to a 13th Wimbledon campaign.

The 31-year-old was out celebrating her birthday with friends a month ago when thieves managed to get into the secure underground car park at her home in Chelsea Harbour and drive away in her Range Rover.

“I was quite logical,” she said. “I actually really processed it well, I was like, ‘It’s OK, nobody’s hurt, there are plenty worse things going on in the world, it’s just a material object’. And then now, I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, what a nightmare’ with all the insurance stuff.

“The police found it, it just doesn’t work. They rewire it to get it started so all the wires have been pulled out. They found it three weeks ago, I called the insurance, they’ve done nothing. So I gave them a kick up the bum.”

Watson made her Wimbledon debut back it 2010 but it was not until last year that she made it beyond the third round at a grand slam for the first time.

The caveat to Watson’s joy was that, as a result of Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Ukrainian players, she did not receive any ranking points for the achievement.

Having dropped outside the top 100, Watson was unable to secure entry into the big tournaments, and it is only thanks to good performances on the grass that she has begun to head back in the right direction.

Mostly, Watson is just grateful to have another tilt at Wimbledon having been awarded a wild card, saying: “This year coming in I feel really relaxed, I feel happy and just can’t wait to get going.

“Life is good. We’ve got points again this year. I feel in a good place in my life on the court, off the court. I’m so grateful to be back at this amazing tournament for another year. It’s so special.”

Watson is also happy to see Wimbledon listening to female players and adjusting their all-white clothing policy, with competitors now allowed to wear coloured undershorts to help reduce period anxiety.

Last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur raised one unintended consequence but Watson believes it is a step forward, saying: “When they announced the new rule I was like, ‘This is great, this is forward thinking, this is so helpful’.

“Then I thought, ‘Shoot, everyone’s going to know when I’m on my period’. But I’m so open about it anyway I’d probably let all of you know without even asking the question. In Eastbourne I wore black shorts, it really helped.”