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Heather Watson keen on bigger backroom team to raise her game

Heather Watson in action against Samantha Stosur of Australia during day one of the Rogers Cup, July 25
Image: Heather Watson is keen on a bigger backroom team to help her raise her game

Heather Watson admits she is caught in a vicious circle as she continually looks to improve her game.

The 24-year-old is currently ranked 76 in the world after a tough second half of the 2016 season saw her drop from a career-high ranking of 38.

The appointment of a new coach in John-Laffnie de Jager will help after a spell without a mentor, having split from Diego Veronelli earlier this year, but his arrival comes with added expense for Watson.

Her 2016 earnings to date stand at just over $500,000 and the British No 2 admits to making only a small profit margin when all her outgoings are taken into account. She believes she needs a team of three or four with her all-year round, including a physio and hitter, to enable her to compete with the best regularly.

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

However, to assemble such a backroom team she needs to be earning more money, which she can only do by getting more consistent results. To achieve that she needs a backroom team.

"I'd love to have that sort of team with me," she said. "I'd feel more confident, more prepared for tournaments, more professional in every way but I need to get to the level where I can afford that. Then it's a cycle and I feel like I could keep the ball rolling but I've got to get there first.

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"I still have to push hard. The way I was brought up was to be thrifty. But I'm not making big margins. I definitely need to raise my level and ranking. At the beginning of the year I was doing well but since then I haven't really done a lot. But I've been playing doubles and that definitely helps.

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"People see the prize money but they don't count what's going out like, for example, the coaching, the travel - nothing apart from the hotel when you're in the tournament is paid for.

"It's interesting, though, because we don't really talk about this and everybody, like outside, just assumes all of this but you are your own business, you're employing people, you're paying somebody's yearly salary."

There are other revenue streams, with sponsorships proving vital. But that is also part of the cycle, with deals often following success on the court.

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 match at the US Open

"Without sponsorships it would definitely be very hard," she added. "But it's kind of like when you are doing well, you don't need those sponsorships but they'll come along and then when you're not, it's the other way around but that's the way it goes.

"I think I'm also lucky that I'm British and I guess there aren't that many players there so it's good to be a tennis player."

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