One celebrated the biggest accomplishment of her young career, while the other tasted a bit of very sour medicine. One saved four match points, while the other lost five. The last day of the Asian Swing brought mixed fortunes for the British players.
The first in 24 years
When Laura Robson reached the final in Guangzhou, she was the first British woman since 1990 to take part in the decisive match of a tournament. However, she came up a bit short of her first title in that final.
On Saturday, Heather Watson became the first since Robson to reach a WTA final, but it is, obviously, her feat this Sunday that will be remembered, as she saved four match points to have the better of Chang Kai-Chen, 7-5 5-7 7-6(4) to win the Osaka tournament and become the first British woman since Sarah Gomer, back in 1988 (California), to win a title on the WTA Tour.
For the 20-year-old, it is really the result of many years of hard work:
“I’ve worked so hard for this moment my whole career – that’s why I practised so hard, ran all those miles and lifted all those weights, for moments like this.”
Something tells me we’re not through hearing of Heather Watson having success, and the same goes for Laura Robson. These two young women have talent, guts, and work really hard, not to mention that they have a game that is very refreshing to watch.
No “threepeat” for Murray
At the Shanghai Rolex Masters, Andy Murray was going for his third consecutive title, this Sunday, as he was facing World n° 2 Novak Djokovic.
However, if their 3:21 battle was one of the most dramatic three-setter of the season, it was not the epic many referred to once the last ball was struck.
For there was plenty of drama in this last final of the Asian Swing.
If Andy Murray took a break-laden first set, 7-5, and was on his way to a complete the “threepeat” in Shanghai, in the end, after Djokovic had saved one match point to take the ninth game to deuce, an easy forehand put-away ended up being the Scotsman’s downfall, and the turning point of the match. By that shot, Murray not only gifted Djokovic the break back, he also gave him the momentum.
The only real epic moment of this match came in the second set tiebreak, a real fest of great rallies, monumental errors, and huge drama, which Djokovic took, 13-11, but not without saving four more match points, including one on Murray’s serve.
From that point on, there was no turning back for the Serbian, who broke early in the decisive set and left with his first final win since Miami over another member of the top 4 (he was 0-5 coming into this match), 5-7 7-6(11) 6-3.
This triumph increases Djokovic’s lead in the year-to-date race, quite forcing Roger Federer to win Basel, Paris, and London, if he wants to finish the year n° 1.