French Open 2020: Heather Watson concerned about future of British tennis

Heather Watson hits a backhadn
Heather Watson has never made it past the third round in the singles draw of a Grand Slam

Heather Watson expressed concerns about the future of British tennis after she became the final Briton to be knocked out in the French Open singles.

Andy Murray, Johanna Konta, Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie and Liam Broady lost in the first round on Sunday and Monday.

British number two Watson's 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 defeat by France's Fiona Ferro means there are no Britons in a Grand Slam second round for the first time since the same tournament in 2013.

"I don't see who's next," Watson said.

"I feel like we've got a good little group of players right now, but little. I don't see who's going to be top 50.

"I think personally that more players need to get help rather than just helping your selected players."

Best British performances at Grand Slams in 2020
Australian OpenSecond round: Dan Evans, Heather Watson and Harriet Dart
US OpenThird round: Cameron Norrie
French OpenFirst Round: Heather Watson, Andy Murray, Johanna Konta, Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie, Liam Broady
WimbledonDid not take place this year

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) supports a small number of players through two national academies in Stirling and Loughborough but Watson believes giving financial aid to a larger group would be better.

"I feel like the more people you help, the more competition there will be," she continued.

"It's not just the talented people that get through. If you give the hard workers an opportunity, too, you'll have more of a pool of players."

In Jack Draper and Emma Raducanu, who are 18 and 17 respectively, Britain has two outstanding prospects, but the British Tour events staged over the summer showed up a lack of depth on the women's side in particular.

Asked if she would consider getting involved with the LTA at the end of her career in a bid to help change things, Watson said: "I definitely wouldn't want to get involved because of the politics.

"There's loads of politics involved. If I'm honest, I don't think my voice would be heard anyway."

After winning in Acapulco in February, Watson has lost all her matches since the tour resumed in August and said she would have blood tests after suffering from dizziness for several weeks.

Analysis - Britain's disappointing Grand Slam year

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

By creating two national academies, which will each take no more than 16 players at any one time, the LTA is putting very few eggs into just two baskets.

There were only eight students in Loughborough when the academy opened its doors for the first time 12 months ago.

Talent identification is an extremely hazardous business, and these players are mostly being selected in their early teens.

As for the next generation, there are currently only two British men under the age of 25 in the world's top 300: Jay Clarke and Jack Draper.

There are five women, but of those only Harriet Dart is a top 200 player.

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