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Heather Watson appoints new coach after pulling out of Wuhan Open

Heather Watson seems to be on the road to recovery
Image: Heather Watson will begin work with her new coach, John-Laffnie de Jager

British No 2 Heather Watson has appointed John-Laffnie de Jager as her new coach, just hours after pulling out of the Wuhan Open.

The 24-year-old has been without a mentor since splitting with Diego Veronelli earlier this year and the South African former grand slam doubles finalist joins up with Watson in China.

De Jager arrived on the day that Watson was forced to withdraw from her Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open first-round match against Madison Brengle due to a stomach bug and will work with her on a full-time basis.

"My new coach arrives today," Watson said. "We were talking after the US Open and just putting plans in place.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 30:  Heather Watson of the United Kingdom reacts against Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands during her first round Women's Singles m
Image: Watson complained of dizziness and double vision

"This is the earliest we could start working together. He is full-time but this will be a trial period to see how it goes because we are just getting to know each other."

Watson was trailing 3-6 1-2 to her American opponent in sweltering conditions when she decided she could no longer go on.

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She had called a medical time out after losing the first set and a doctor was called on to court to take her blood pressure in some worrying scenes reminiscent of her first-round US Open defeat last month.

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However, she tried to play on and came out swinging in the second set before her symptoms got the better of her.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 30:  Heather Watson of the United Kingdom is treated by a trainer during her first round Women's Singles maduring her first round Wom
Image: Watson is treated by a trainer during her first round Women's Singles match at the US Open

Watson had played twice on Saturday in similarly high temperatures to get through qualifying and make it to the main draw.

After that she insisted she was feeling fit following her episode in Flushing Meadows where she went for blood tests after saying her symptoms were similar to when she suffered from glandular fever.

She said on Saturday: "I got the blood test results and they are all fine, I am very healthy. I just think it was a mixture of things, maybe stress and anxiety and the heat is always a factor.

"But I feel as if I am fit, I train in Florida, so I was fit and ready, I think it was just the other things that affected me."

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