WATCH: Heather Watson clinches first WTA Tour title in four years with victory at Mexican Open

8:29am, Sun 01 Mar 2020
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Heather Watson won her first WTA title in nearly four years after defeating Leylah Annie Fernandez to clinch the Mexican Open crown.

The 27-year-old, who's last Tour title also came in Mexico at the Monterrey Open in March 2016, secured a 6-4 6-7 (8) 6-1 victory in a gruelling match lasting two hours and 49 minutes.

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Watson started the match in scintillating fashion as she raced into a 4-0 lead, breaking Fernandez twice in a row with consummate ease.

And while the Canadian fought back to take a break of her own, the Brit held on to serve out the first set.

The pair shared a break each early on in the second set before tightening up their serving to force a tie-break.

But with Watson leading 6-2, she spurned four match point opportunities as Fernandez fought back to level it up at 6-6.

Another match point went begging for the Guernsey-born player at 8-7 as she was made to pay when Fernandez turned it around to clinch the tie-break 10-8 and send the match to a decider.

But Watson did not let the disappointment of those missed chances affect her as she sped into a 3-0 lead in the third set.

A second break of serve meant she was serving for the tournament at 5-1 and despite failing to convert another four match points, she eventually got over the line on the tenth time of asking to secure the Mexican Open title.

After the match, she said: "It was so up and down but I'm so happy to get my fourth title. It's been a few years, so I'm just really, really happy I came through that match."

"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.

"I've played Leylah two times before this and I knew what to expect. She's a great player, and I knew it would be really tough, but the thing I notice about her the most is the head on her shoulders.

"She's very, very mature for her age and I think it's her mental toughness that really stands out."