sport

Watson wants Brits to shape up

Heather Watson tumbled out of Wimbledon and urged British tennis bosses to step in and stop lazy players wasting their talent.

Watson wants the Lawn Tennis Association to tell under-achieving prospects they cannot pick and choose when they commit to training.

The current British number one gave a decent account of herself in the second round during a battling three-set defeat to ninth seed Angelique Kerber.

Watson then admitted she sympathised with the view of Dan Evans' departing coach Julien Hoferlin that British players are "too spoilt".

Hoferlin has left his LTA coaching post by launching a withering attack on the state of the British game, telling Belgian radio station RTBF there is no "exceptional tennis culture".

Watson backed up that claim in the wake of her 6-2 5-7 6-1 loss to Germany's world number seven Kerber on Centre Court on Thursday.

"I understand where he's coming from," said Watson. "I see it with some players more than others.

"You know, we are a strong, rich federation, so I can see that people would say that whether we're doing well or not.

"I see his point. I see some players not working week-in, week-out, kind of choosing when they want to work.

"Not just the players, but I think the coaches let them slip, let them get away with it.

"Nothing is said if they just don't want to play that week or don't want to give it. I don't think it's all the players, I think it's the coaches too."

Guernsey native Watson has battled back into the world's top 60 after a wretched 2013 entirely blighted by glandular fever.

The 22-year-old underlined her fighting spirit in shrugging off a sloppy 26-minute spell that handed Kerber the first set to force a decider.

Former Belgium Davis Cup captain Hoferlin criticised Birmingham's Evans this week, questioning his desire to succeed.

"He has the potential to make himself a top-60 player," said Hoferlin. "But he makes no sacrifices for his sport."

Watson admitted she has watched current British players ease through training regimes.

"If a player wants to make it, it's all up to them," said Watson. "I do see where he's coming from with some players; with others, I do feel they give a lot of the hard work.

"For example, I see Katy Dunne. I did an off-season training camp with her, and every single day she worked hard and pushed. Then I've done it with others and I saw a very different story."