Watson warms up for Australian Open with Hobart title win

17 January 2015 / 11:40

British number one tennis player Heather Watson admitted she was feeling more at home on the big stage after clinching her second WTA title at the Hobart International.

The 22-year-old, who was using the tournament as preparation for next week’s Australian Open, beat American qualifier Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

It was her first title success since her maiden tournament win in Osaka two years ago before her career was interrupted after being diagnosed with glandular fever.

She began last year ranked 119th in the world as a result but has since recovered her form while also working with new Argentine coach Diego Veronelli.

The victory moves Watson, who competed in the women’s singles and doubles at London 2012, up to a career-high 38th in the world rankings while she is the first British woman since Anne Hobbs in 1985 to win a second tour title.

She will now turn her attentions to the Australian Open, where she will play Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in round one on Tuesday, although Watson was understandably delighted with her warm up preparations.

"When I won Osaka in 2012, it was more of a surprise," said Watson. "But here, I feel like I belong.

"I'm obviously very happy. It was tough conditions again, very windy, and I knew Madison would be tough - we know each other very well on and off the court, and we practise a lot in Florida.

"It really was my toughest match of the week. I was happy I stayed mentally strong and managed to get ahead and hold my nerve at the end.

“Thanks to my coach Diego, its been great working with you. We work really hard but we also have fun."

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