Heather Watson's winning streak Down Under continued in Tasmania at the Hobart International today, as she prevailed over Alison Riske to move into the final of the WTA event. Britain's number one was a straight sets winner over the seeded American to clinch a final's berth against another American Madison Brengle.
Riske had also been enjoying an exciting week up to facing Watson. After surviving a scare in round two where she was pushed to three sets, she had looked mightily impressive in the quarter-finals in thrashing the number two seed Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
World number 49 Watson was the dominant player in their semi-final match-up though, as she took the first set 6-3 after reeling off five winning games in a row. The Brit then had to survive a much more tense second set before fighting back to clinch the victory 7-5.
The match was a stop-start affair with six rain delays and a swirling wind interrupting the flow throughout. The final delay occurred most unfortunately with the match poised delicately at match-point to Watson, as she nervously attempted to close the match out on what was already her third match point. With the players slipping on the damp surface, it appeared to be a sound call to make by the officials at the time, if a little frustrating for Watson. On the players' return she double-faulted to allow her opponent back into the tie, with the scores level at 5-5. Thankfully for Watson, Riske's play was not without errors itself and she failed to take advantage of the lifeline that had been handed to her, by dropping her own serve in the next game. It proved decisive as Watson maintained her composure this time to take her own service game and with it the match.