Heather Watson wins Osaka crown, ends Brit drought
By Sports Network
|Heather Watson of Britain holds the trophy after winning the Japan Women's Open tennis tournament in Osaka on October 14, 2012. Watson defeated Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan in the final 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4) and became the first Briton in 24 years to win a WTA title. JAPAN OUT AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS
Osaka, Japan - Britain's Heather Watson earned her first career WTA title on Sunday, knocking off Chinese Taipei's Kai-Chen Chang in a three-set thriller at the HP Open.
Watson smashed three aces and committed just two double faults to claim the Osaka crown with a 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4) triumph in 3 hours and 11 minutes. She became the first Brit to win a WTA title since Sara Gomer in 1988 at Aptos.
"Britain has been breaking quite a few records recently, so I'm happy I could break another one today," said Watson. "I'm proud to do this for my country."
Chang knocked off top seed Samantha Stosur to advance to the final, but the 21-year-old couldn't get out of her own way on Sunday, as she committed seven double faults in the setback. She also had four match points at 5-4 in the third set, but failed to convert.
"After I saved the first one, I just took it point by point," said Watson. "I'm really proud of myself for getting through that."
It was the first WTA final for both Chang and Watson, who had never been past the quarterfinals before this week, and the first time the two had ever met.
Watson earned $37,000 for her effort.