Watson wins landmark WTA title
Sun, 14 Oct 2012 11:45p.m.
Heather Watson became the first British woman in 24 years to win a WTA title after beating Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan on Sunday in the final of the Japan Open.
Watson outlasted Chang 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (4) after 3 hours, 11 minutes to end the long drought for her country - just three weeks after Laura Robson became the first British woman in 22 years to even reach a WTA final.
"I was in the changing room afterwards, changing my clothes, and I thought to myself, `Did I really win?' So it's just starting to settle in," Watson says. "I've worked so hard for this moment my whole career - that's why I practiced so hard, ran all those miles and lifted all those weights, for moments like this."
Both Watson and Chang were appearing in their first career final, and showed signs of nerves. Watson wasted a match point at 5-3 in the second set, then saved four when Chang led 5-4 in the third. In all, the match featured 14 breaks of serve, including seven in the first set.
Watson's victory marked another milestone for British tennis, after Andy Murray finally broke a 76-year Grand Slam drought on the men's side by winning the U.S. Open this year.
"Britain has been breaking quite a few records recently, so I'm happy I could break another one today," Watson said. "I'm proud to do this for my country."
The last British woman to win a WTA title was Sara Gomer in 1988.
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