Heather Watson wins 2016 Wimbeldon mixed doubles with Finnish partner Henri Kontinen
Watson, 20, was born on the Channel Island of Guernsey in May 1992. Her mother, Michelle originally from Papua New Guinea, met her Manchester-born father when he was working in the Pacific nation’s capital, Port Moresby, in 1988. Parents, Ian and Michelle Watson, made huge sacrifices so Heather could get the best coaching in the world, paying for her to go to the prestigious Nick Bollettieri tennis academy in Florida when she was just 12 and later moving to the US themselves to support her flourishing career. However, they never put pressure on her to win and have even stayed away from some of her biggest tournaments, including this year’s Wimbledon, to avoid unsettling her.
The player has described her father, a former managing director of Guernsey Electricity, as her “idol”. “He’s just always so calm, and he says no matter how I do, he’ll be proud of me,” she has said. Watson first became interested in tennis when she was a toddler watching her parents play at their club in Guernsey, and took up the sport when she was seven.
Congratulations to Heather from the PNGAA!