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By Heather Watson

Heater Watson (February 17, 2013) -- Nothing like a 3.5-hour first round match to get things started in Memphis this year! I faced Galina Voskoboeva in a three-setter that featured some comebacks, some chokes, and everything in between.
I couldn’t seem to find my strokes at the beginning of the first set, and quickly found myself down 5-2. At that point, I called on my coach who gave me some brilliant advice: Make more balls!
The strategy worked (shocking!), and I was able to come back and win the first set. That was great, of course, but I still ended up losing the second set 7-5. Before I knew it, I was up 5-1 in the third, just points away from closing it out. I won’t bore you with the specifics, but “closing it out” took just a little longer than I was hoping. Despite some really solid play from my opponent, I finally won the match in a third set tiebreak. Though I wasn’t too pleased with myself for letting that huge lead slip away, I’m glad I was able to do what I always do: hang in there and fight through.
As soon as I came off the court, I downed a recovery shake, which, to be honest, tasted more like cardboard than chocolate. After a good stretch and a hot shower, I loaded up on some carbs and protein for dinner at the tournament site. I really do love this place. In fact, I was gutted when I found out this would be the last year the women get to play here. The people are so “southern” and friendly, and the venue is so cozy. Since this is my final trip to Memphis, I am definitely going to go see Graceland this year. I’m a huge Elvis fan!
Fun stuff aside, this has been an interesting year for me so far. I was able to gain so much confidence from working my way up in the rankings and winning the Osaka title back in October. But I also put a lot more pressure on myself to perform. Now I feel like I should win certain matches, which initially made me so much more nervous. I realize now that I just need to relax and chill out. It works!
Speaking of relaxation, I got to go see a movie a couple of nights ago. Django Unchained was awesome! I’d put it on my “top five” movie list, for sure. Of course, the top two spots are reserved for the sappiest movies ever - A Little Princess and Titanic (I cry every time!).
Doubles tomorrow! I’ll keep you posted on the result.

Follow Heather Watson on Twitter: @HeatherWatson92

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