The seventh seed survived a second-set fightback by rising teenager Leylah Fernandez to claim her fourth career title at the Mexican Open in Acapulco after two-and-three-quarters hours of intrigue and excitement.
Ultimately, the marathon Saturday evening encounter ended in a 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-1 victory for the British No. 2, who at some time today will be confirmed back in the world’s top 50.
‘It’s been a few years, so I’m just really, really happy I came through that match,’ said the victorious 27-year-old.
Watson saw her first five championship points in the second-set tiebreak slip away, but she regrouped in the third set before converting her 10th championship point.
‘It was so up and down,’ said Watson. ‘I had those [match] points in the second set, and I wasn’t able to win that, but I was really pleased with how I stayed in the moment, and won that third set.’
For Watson, the first player from Great Britain to reach the Acapulco final and win the title, it was a third straight win over the Canadian prospect.
‘She’s a great player, and I knew it would be really tough because the two matches before that had been really tough. The thing I notice about her the most is the head on her shoulders. She’s very, very mature for her age.
‘It was heartbreaking losing the second set,’ Watson admitted.
‘But I also reminded myself that I also saved a lot of set points before that.’