UK & World News
Watson Ends Britain's Tennis Title Wait
Heather Watson has become the first British player in 24 years to win a Women's Tennis Association tour singles title.
The 20-year-old from Guernsey beat Chang Kai-chen of Chinese Taipei in a marathon final of the HP Open in Osaka, Japan, as the rise of British women's tennis continues.
Watson looked as if she may have thrown away her chance of victory when, having served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, fell a break down and faced match point in the decider.
But she showed plenty of fighting spirit to break back before finally clinching a 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7/4) win in three hours 11 minutes.
Afterwards she said: "It's just starting to sink in.
"I've worked so hard for this moment. That's why I practiced so hard, ran all those miles, lifted all those weights - for moments like this."
Watson's win in the Japan Women's Open means she has followed in the footsteps of Sara Gomer, the last British winner of a singles title on the WTA Tour in California in 1988.
Her victory will move her back above compatriot Laura Robson in the world rankings, making her British women's Number One again.
The success came just a month after Robson reached the final of a WTA event in China.
Watson's final was a topsy-turvy encounter with both players carving out a total of 33 break points and breaking seven times each.
She took the first set by four breaks to three, but dropped her serve three times again in the second to let her 21-year-old opponent back into the match.
But after breaking Chang back to level the decider at 5-5, the Briton held her nerve in the tie-break.
Ex-British number one Greg Rusedski said that Britain's women tennis players were benefiting from better support from coaches and other figures in the UK game.
"I think the women's game is doing brilliantly at the moment," the former US Open finalist told Sky Sports News.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we see Heather and Laura in many finals to come."