Briton Watson beats qualifier Brengle to win Hobart title

Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:47am EST
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Britain's Heather Watson defied the Tasmanian wind to secure her second WTA title with a 6-3 6-4 victory over American qualifier Madison Brengle in the final of the Hobart International on Saturday.

Watson was a popular winner of an event which battled rain and blustery conditions all week, wrapping up a hard-fought but error-strewn contest in a little under one-and-a-half hours.

The world number 49 did not lose a set at the tournament and will take a major confidence boost across the Bass Strait to Melbourne for the Australian Open, where she meet Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the first round.

"I've enjoyed my time here so, so much and I'd love to come back here again next year," Watson told the crowd in the presentation ceremony.

"I know it hasn't been superb weather for tennis but you've definitely made it fun for us."

Watson's friend Brengle had battled her way through seven matches in qualifying and the main draw to reach her first WTA final and was determined to make an impression, forcing Watson to save 11 break points in her first two service games.

The 12th saw the 24-year-old American claim the first break of the match when Watson double faulted but it was just one of five in the set and the Briton's superior net game helped her take a 1-0 lead.

Brengle continued to struggle with her blistered right hand in the second set with her forehand responsible for 21 of her 34 unforced errors.

Watson pounced to claim the only break of the set for a 4-3 lead and three games later was serving for the match, which she secured when Brengle went wide with a backhand.   Continued...

 
Heather Watson of Britain plays a forehand shot to Casey Dellacqua of Australia during their women's singles tennis match at the 2015 Hopman Cup in Perth, January 9, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer