• French Open

Watson optimistic ahead of Paris return

ESPN staff
May 22, 2013
Heather Watson has not played since her Sony Open first-round defeat in March © Getty Images

Heather Watson hopes she can quickly rediscover her top form following a bout of glandular fever, as she prepares for her return to action at the French Open.

The British No. 2 has qualified by right in Paris for the first time in her career after breaking into the world's top 50 in 2012, but has not played since back-to-back first round defeats in Indian Wells and Miami in March.

A blood test in Miami confirmed she was suffering from glandular fever, an energy-sapping virus that at times left her in bed for 14 hours a day and exhausted by 20 minutes of light exercise.

But two months on from her diagnosis, the world No. 50 is ready for a cautious return to action at Roland Garros

"Confident-ish," she told the Telegraph when asked how she felt after her rushed preparations. "Two weeks ago, I started training.

"The first week was literally an hour a day to see how I felt and how my body reacted to it. Obviously I reacted well and we have just kept stepping it up and up.

"In the past I haven't always needed too many matches to get ready. When I played the US Open juniors I hadn't played a tournament. I rocked up and I won it.

"I did think about playing Strasbourg last week, but after a week of training I wasn't going to be ready."

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