Heather Watson reaches Japan Open final

Heather Watson

Britain's Heather Watson is through to her first WTA Tour singles final after beating home favourite Misaki Doi in two tight sets at the Japan Open.

The 20-year-old prevailed 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 in Osaka and will face Kai-Chen Chang of Chinese Taipei in Sunday's final.

Watson, who also reached the final of the women's doubles, broke Doi four times to her three in the second set.

The world number 71 is bidding to become the first Briton to win a WTA singles title since 1988.

Sara Gomer was the last player to clinch victory when she won the Northern California Open, four years before British number two Watson was born.

Guernsey player Watson, whose previous best tournament finish was three quarter-final appearances last year, has never faced Chang in a WTA singles match.

World number 134 Chang beat Australian top seed Sam Stosur 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-3) in her semi-final.

Watson's final appearance comes just three weeks after Laura Robson became the first British woman to reach a WTA singles final since Jo Durie in 1990.

Robson, 18, lost in three sets to Su-Wei Hsieh at the Guangzhou Open, with Watson now aiming to go one better than the British number one.

And Watson could secure two titles after she made it through to the women's doubles final with 42-year-old Japanese partner Kimiko Date-Krumm.

The fourth seeds beat sixth seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Zheng Jie 6-3 4-6 10-8, and will face American top seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears in the final on Sunday.


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