On The Line with Jeffrey Watson: WTA's senior manager of publicity and communications

Jeffrey Watson.
Jeffrey Watson.


The prestigious season finale of the WTA - and the women's professional tour at large - is an operation that involves a large team.

The Straits Times speaks to the people who work away from centre court and behind the scenes, to find out the quirky details of their jobs.

In the first of this daily series until the end of the tournament: WTA's senior manager of publicity and communications Jeffrey Watson, 26.

Q How long have you been doing this?

A I started working in tennis events in 2011, and joined the WTA in January 2014.

Q Favourite tournament?

A I got my start working in Indian Wells, so the staff and tournament in general have a special place in my heart.

Q How many tournaments do you do in a year?

A I did 14 this year, mostly outside the United States.

Q Weirdest request you've had from a player?

A One player had to go to a press conference, but also had to get treatment and was also starving. She asked if I could help her get food so she could eat it on the way to meet the press. I got her a burger from the food court.

Q Oddest question you've heard at a press conference?

A In an interview with Caroline Wozniacki, a journalist asked for her thoughts on what sounded to me like "Nelly". I was very confused because I thought he meant the American rapper.

Turns out he was talking about "Na Li".

Q Favourite player on the men's tour?

A Andy Murray. He was the first player I ever worked with when I was an intern in Los Angeles. I think he's really down to earth and a funny, witty person.

Q Three things you can't do your job without?

A Colleagues. WhatsApp. A relationship with the players.

Q One thing about Singapore that strikes you?

A The fans. They're so into it, they get tennis, they love the players, they're so respectful, and they're passionate about it.

Q One thing about tennis players people don't get or see?

A They're down to earth. They chat in the players' lounge, having fun with other players, joking around with us. They're very normal and fun to be around.

Q Weirdest thing you've had to eat on the job?

A In Dubai we did a visit to a cultural centre and they made Petra Kvitova this traditional fish rice meal. I respect the culture, but I'm not a seafood fan and there was no way I was eating that.

Q Best part about the job?

A The relationships you develop around the world with tournament staff, players and other WTA staff who work in one of our four offices.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2015, with the headline 'On The Line with Jeffrey Watson'. Print Edition | Subscribe