18 year-old Heather Watson is a student at IMG Academy, and currently trains with the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program. The youngster from Great Britain, who ranks No. 142 in the world and No. 3 overall in her home country, was recently bestowed with the honor of playing for Great Britain in the International Tennis Federation's Fed Cup. The Fed Cup features teams composed of players from the same country playing against other nations. The main Fed Cup tournament will be played in November.
She is currently blogging for the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and has recently written about her upcoming Fed Cup qualifying tournament in Israel. From the article:
It's such an honour to have been chosen to represent Great Britain in the Fed Cup - you don't get many opportunities to play for your country and as soon as I was offered the chance, I jumped at it.
I'm here in Eilat, Israel, with my team-mates Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong and Joss Rae to see if we can get promoted from Europe/Africa Group I, and the competition is going to be fierce.
There are 15 teams battling for two spots in World Group II, and hoping to avoid the two relegation places, and we've been drawn with Denmark and Switzerland in the group stage.
Denmark have the world number one, Caroline Wozniacki, and Switzerland have two top-50 players in Patty Schnyder and Timea Bacsinszky, so it's very tough, but Belarus have Victoria Azarenka and Shahar Peer is playing for Israel, so every team here is packed and we've just got to go in there with a fighting spirit.
We've been together as a group for several days now and we went to Cyprus first for some training in similar weather and conditions to Israel to get ourselves as prepared as possible for the tournament.
Now we're here in Eilat and the hotel is really nice, it's right next to the club and I can see it from my window - I can't wait to get over there and start playing.
It's been great spending time with my team-mates and getting to know them all a bit better. I knew Joss well already because we've always been together through the age groups since we were very little and I get along with her so well.
Because we're making our Fed Cup debuts, me and Joss had to make a speech in front of the rest of the team, but we actually came up with a little song and a rap. It was..... unbelievable.
I knew Anne a bit beforehand and got to know her more in New Zealand and Australia last month, and now I've got to meet Bally as well, and they're all great and we're going to do really well together. One thing I've noticed is how healthily Bally eats - I need to become like her!
One down side of the travelling over the last few days was that we weren't able to watch Andy Murray in the Australian Open final on Sunday because we were flying, but we were getting point-by-point updates from our coach Louis. It was tough luck for Andy. I really, really wanted him to win it.
I began my year down in New Zealand and Australia and made a great start to 2011. I was very fit before heading out and had a lot of matches while I was there - six in Auckland, where I made my first WTA quarter-final, and then a couple in Australian Open qualifying.
I was playing very well and I reached my target from last year, which was top 150, a couple of weeks ago. I'm just hoping to keep that form going while I'm here. We know we face a tough task but we're only focused on finishing in the top two and moving up.
And if we do manage that I can guarantee that we won't be copying the Davis Cup winners and 'doing a Serbia' by getting our heads shaved. Definitely not!