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Watson beats Taiwan's Chang in Japan to win first WTA title

OSAKA, Japan -- Heather Watson edged past Chang Kai-chen of Taiwan at the Japan Women's Open tennis tournament on Sunday to become the first Briton in 24 years to win a WTA title.

The 20-year-old Watson, having played her first WTA final, squandered one match point leading one set and 5-4 hitting a double fault. She had to save four match points in the final set before winning 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7/4).

She became the first Briton to win a WTA title since Sara Gomer at Aptos back in 1988.

Until a few weeks ago no Briton had even reached a WTA final in 22 years until Laura Robson broke the drought with her run to the final in Guangzhou, China.

Watson has also won three ITF titles, at Wrexham and Toronto in 2010 and at Frinton in 2009.

Watson, who received the winner's check of US$37,000 dollars, will be back to the centre court later Sunday for the doubles final with Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm against top seed Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.

Watson will try to become the first Briton to win both the singles and doubles at the same WTA tournament since Anne Hobbs in 1985.

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