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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Tennis: Champion Mertens reaches Hobart final with Watson win

Reuters , Friday 12 Jan 2018
Tennis
New York, NY, USA; Heather Watson of Great Britain returns a shot to Alize Cornet of France on day one of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Aug 28, 2017 Reuters
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Defending champion Elise Mertens of Belgium reached the Hobart International final with a 6-4 1-6 6-2 win over British qualifier Heather Watson on Friday.

The second-seeded Mertens recovered from a second-set lapse to edge out Watson, who won the tournament in 2015, in one hour and 42 minutes.

The 22-year-old world number 36 will play Mihaela Buzarnescu in Saturday's final after the Romanian sailed past fifth-seeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-2 in the second semi-final.

"She made the same run (from qualifying) as I did last year, but I'm happy to win today," Mertens said in an on-court interview.

"I gave it all today, and I'm still playing doubles later.

"I tried to play a bit more aggressive in the third set and make her run a little bit more. She was dictating me in the second set, all credits to her. She played an amazing match."

After a tight opener which was decided by a single break of serve, Watson, ranked 74th in the world, fought back to square the match but her hopes of winning a fourth WTA title were dashed due to unforced errors.

"(It is) just frustrating. Thought I made too many unforced errors," Watson said. "Because I'd been playing so well, I expected more of myself."

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