Heather Watson of Britain missed out on a first WTA final for 2 years as she lost to Belgian second seed Elise Mertens at the Hobart International.
In 2015, the 25-year-old won the title and in the semi-finals, he went down 6-4 1-6 6-2 to 2017 champion Mertens in the semi-finals.
With 5 wins under her belt since the start of the year, Watson will head to next week’s Australian Open. In the first round in Melbourne, she plays Kazakhstan’s world number 50 Yulia Putintseva. Her hopes of winning a 4th WTA title were raised when she fought back after dropping the first set against Mertens.
Ranked 38 places below Mertens at 74th in the world, Watson dominated the second set and earned a break point at the start of the 3rd. Before breaking once more to clinch victory, Mertens held on, however, taking a 3-1 lead when a defensive backhand looped over Watson’s head and dropped on the baseline.
The Belgian will play either Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko or Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania in the final.
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