Sunday, October 14, 2012
Watson's first time ends British 24 years of no titles
Very few of us, tennis fans, remember Sara Gomer, but British fellows surely do, as in 1988 at Aptos she was the last Brit to raise a WTA trophy. From that moment on the land where tennis was born has been passing through a very dark moment for tennis, mostly in the women department.
A few weeks ago, another British player, Laura Robson caressed the dream of putting an end to that horrible drought, which surely had been going on for too long. Laura faced Su-Wei Hsieh from Taipei in Guangzhou, but sadly for her and the compatriots she had to face a really disappointing loss.
Another week, another story, but the fate wanted it to be another match between UK and Taipei, but this time the names were different: it was Heather Watson against Kai-Chen Chang.
The match has been very nervous, with both players looking for their first WTA title and that surely played a role in their minds. With no doubts something happened in Chang's mind, when in the first set, called to serve it out on 5-4 she wasted several set points and then let Heather coming back.
Watson didn't waste the chance and with a sudden sprint closed the first set 7-5.
On the wings of that comeback, the British youngster flew up to 5-3 in the second set, but Chang wouldn't leave the court without fighting, saved Match Points and grabbed the second set with the same score she had lost the first 7-5.
Everything seemed to suggest an easy run for the Taipei girl in the 3rd and it really went on this way until 5-3. Watson was called for a great display of heart and she could serve to stay in the match, giving Chang the unpleasant duty of serving for the match. Kai-Chen took the lead and had 4 Match Points, but Watson didn't lose the hope and saved them all before breaking back. Both girls hold and they took the match to a final tie-break where Watson would just play more solid and finally won the last point, closing the match 7-5 5-7 7-6 (4)
"I was already thinking about how I was going to cry in the locker room! But after I saved the first one, I just took it point by point. I'm really proud of myself for getting through that." Said Watson at the end of the match, with a huge smile on her face.
"Britain has been breaking quite a few records recently, so I'm happy I could break another one today. I'm proud to do this for my country." She went on.
"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, I've worked so hard for this moment my whole career - that's why I practiced so hard, ran all those miles and lifted all those weights, for moments like this."
But not just the trophy and the big check she got from this win will make her happy, thanks to that win she will be cracking the top 50 in the WTA ranking next week and as many of you must have noticed, before the other British hope Robson could. May this inner and friendly rivalry make them two improve even more? Only time will tell.