Published on October 23, 2012 | by Gabriel Colyer


Watson breaks into WTA Top 50 after Japan Open win

Heather has broken into the WTA Top 50 for the first time in her short career following her triumph at the Japan Open on Sunday.

The 20-year-old from Guernsey became the first British woman to win a WTA Tour singles title in 24 years by beating Chang Kai-chen, moving up 21 places to 50th in the latest rankings, replacing Olympic mixed-doubles silver medalist Laura Robson as the British number one.

Watson, who in the second set failed to serve out the match at 5-3, recovered four match-points in the third before eventually wrapping up the victory 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7-4).

“I’ve worked so hard for this moment my whole career,” said the 2009 US Open Girls singles champion.

“I really wanted to do well this week so I could earn my rest next week because this is my last tournament of the year. I don’t think I could have ended it any better,” she said.

“The top 50 was a goal – it will push me to make harder goals. I’m excited to have a break but I am looking forward to working hard again because it motivates me to achieve more.”

Watson’s victory caps an incredible 15 weeks for British Tennis. It all started at Wimbledon, where Jonny Marray won the men’s doubles alongside Frederik Nielsen.

Laura Robson won an Olympic Silver medal in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray, who had earlier beat Roger Federer to Olympic Gold before finally breaking his Grand Slam duck, winning the US Open last month.

Watson said: “Britain has been breaking quite a few records recently, so I’m happy I could break another one today and I’m proud to do this for my country.”

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