Back in the champion’s chair

IT HAS been a long wait – four long years – but Guernsey’s Heather Watson is a WTA champion again.

That winning feeling: Heather Watson at the moment of her victory in the final of the Mexican Open in Acapulco. (Picture by AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, 27324871)
That winning feeling: Heather Watson at the moment of her victory in the final of the Mexican Open in Acapulco. (Picture by AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, 27324871)

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.’

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