Heather Watson: I looked at Twitter abuse to punish myself after Wimbledon loss


British tennis player Heather Watson has said she looked at Twitter abuse to "punish" herself after losing in the first round at Wimbledon.

The world number 55 said she looked at the social media site while feeling down after losing to Annika Beck in a match which spanned two days due to rain delays.

The British number two, who has previously spoken of receiving death threats after losing matches, said online abuse had become a regular occurrence.

"After a loss like this, I'm so angry with myself, I feel like I need to punish myself," she said.

"I don't know. It wasn't a good day. I just went on Twitter - there was plenty."

Asked if she had ever experienced abuse to her face, she added: "They're not brave enough to say it in person. That's why they hide behind a computer."

Watson said she had discussed the problem in the changing rooms with fellow Brits Naomi Broady - who was also knocked out in the first round - and Tara Moore, who made it through to the second round.

Asked why she thought the trolls targeted women, the 24-year-old said: "I don't know why they bet on us because our results are all over the place.

"First of all, that's not very smart from them.

"What can you do? There's always going to be people saying stuff. It's, like, it comes with it. You've just got to deal with it."

After Watson tweeted on Monday to say England's football defeat against Iceland was stressing her out, online abuse was posted criticising her appearance and her ability on the court.

Watson's comments came after South African player Kevin Anderson, the world number 25, complained he had received a number of threats following his first round defeat on Monday.

He wrote on Twitter: "Bummed to have lost yesterday, but at least I had a ton of death threats on Facebook and Twitter to make me feel better about things."