Watson wins through to Osaka final
Heather Watson will play Kai-Chen Chang of Chinese Taipei in Sunday's Japan Open final after battling to a semi-final success over Misaki Doi.
The 20-year-old Watson, 4/7 to win her first WTA Tour singles final, was usurped as British number one by Laura Robson recently but has enjoyed a fine year of her own.
She reached the second round of the French Open before being beaten by Julia Gorges and the third round at Wimbledon after upsetting Iveta Benesova and Jamie Hampton.
The Guernsey-born star, currently ranked 71st in the world, could return to the number one spot by the end of the year, particularly if she can build on her 7-6 7-5 success against Doi, by beating Chang, who is 11/8 to win the tournament, in the Osaka final.
The players traded breaks of serve in the first set but the Brit swept through the tie-break to open up a one-set lead.
The second set was a scrappy affair but Watson managed to break four times while losing her serve on three occasions as she eventually triumphed in two hours and one minute.
Chang beat Australian top seed Sam Stosur 6-4 4-6 7-6 but Watson will be confident of becoming the first British woman to lift a WTA singles trophy since Jo Durie 22 years ago.
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