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Watson’s on her ITF Cloud Nine

Sport | Published:

HEATHER WATSON has got her hands on a much-wanted singles title after a clean run at the ITF’s W100 Vancouver event which carried $100,000 in total prize money.

Title No. 9: Heather Watson celebrates her Vancouver victory. (25545103)

Impressively, the world No. 110 did not drop a set over the whole week, even when faced with a dangerous deficit early into her final against world No. 89 Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain.

Watson’s victory is her ninth career ITF singles crown and came in a tournament where she came unstuck in the final last year, losing in three tough sets.

But this year would be a different story and she would successfully put her picture on the winners’ gallery at Hollyburn Country Club.

The Sarnian ace had earned her berth in the final by beating teenage Canadian prospect Leylah Fernandez – aged just 16 – in her semi and making earlier straight-sets dispatches of Australia’s Maddison Inglis, Japan’s Kurumi Nara, and Canada’s Carson Branstine.

Facing the Spaniard in the final, this streak of form looked shaky as she found herself down 1-5 and change in the opening set.

Watson then rallied in a remarkable comeback to take that set 7-5, soon backing this up with a 6-4, though she admitted that it was far from easy work.

‘It was such a battle out there today. It was just two sets, but it was by far one of the most physical matches I’ve played [this week] because of how Sara plays,’ said Watson.

‘She’s such a fighter; she’s very smart and tricky with her slicing, drop shots and coming to the net.

‘Sara had a great start to the match and was just too good. I was 5-1 down and set points down, but I just carried on fighting and I’m really happy to come through that.’

Watson was the first British winner in Vancouver since Johanna Konta in 2015.

Jamie Ingrouille

By Jamie Ingrouille
Sports reporter

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