Heather Watson thrilled to make history with Japan Open success

Last Updated: 15/10/12 8:26am

  • Share:
Heather Watson: The hard work paid off

Heather Watson: The hard work paid off

Sky Bet

Heather Watson said she was very proud to end Britain's 24-year long wait for a victory on the WTA tour.

Watson beat Taiwan's Chang Kai-chen 7-5 5-7 7-6 in a dramatic Japan Open final to go one better than compatriot Laura Robson, who lost in the final in Guangzhou last month.

"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," said Watson, who is now up to 50th in the world rankings.

"I've worked so hard for this moment. That's why I practiced so hard, ran all those miles, lifted all those weights - for moments like this."
Heather Watson

"I've worked so hard for this moment. That's why I practised so hard, ran all those miles, lifted all those weights - for moments like this.

"Being in the top 50 was a real goal for me and it will push me to make harder goals for myself."

Watson took inspiration from Andy Murray's recent exploits at the US Open, where he became the first British grand slam men's singles winner for 76 years.

"Britain has been breaking quite a few records recently," said Watson. "I'm happy I could break another one today. I'm proud to do this for my country."

However, Watson was on the brink of defeat at 4-5 in the final set, saving four match points before winning the decisive tie-break.

"I was already thinking how I was going to cry in the locker room (if she lost)," said Watson with regard to the match points. "I'm really proud of myself for getting through that.

"Knowing Laura did so well in China a few weeks ago definitely motivated me this week.

"Laura and I have come through the rankings together - juniors and seniors - and we're both very competitive so, when we see the other doing well, it pushes us. But I think it's great we're really good friends off the court as well."

No regrets

Watson served a double fault on match point at one stage but added that Chang is "an amazing returner, so I wanted to go for it. What I've learned from my coaches is to go for it and not hope they miss.

"As you get better and play the top girls, you've got to go for it, because they won't give it to you. So I went for it and I don't regret it.

"If I had lost the match, I probably would have regretted it, but I ended up winning, so I'll get over it!"

  • Share:


HP Open

Heather Watson: First British woman since 1988 to win a WTA Tour title

Watson claims Japan Open crown

Heather Watson claims her first WTA Tour title win after her 7-5 5-7 7-6 victory over Kai-Chen Chang in the Japan Open.

Heather Watson: Advanced to Japan Open final

Watson through to Japan final

Heather Watson is through to her first ever WTA Tour final after beating Misaki Doi 7-6 7-5 in the Japan Open.

Heather Watson: Safely into semi-finals of HP Open

Mixed fortunes for Britons

Heather Watson was left to fly the flag for Great Britain in Osaka as Laura Robson crashed out of the HP Open.

Related Profiles

Most Popular


What we learned

What we learned

Alex Williams looks back on the US Open and attempts to draw some conclusions from a dramatic event.

YouTube top five

YouTube top five

Falcao goals, big rugby hits, a hole-in-one and Soccer AM genius... here's what you've been watching.

Sportswomen Podcast

Sportswomen Podcast

Download this week's edition of Sky Sports News HQ's Sportswomen show with guest Heather Knight.