On the first of March Heather Watson ended her four year singles title draught when she defeated Leylah Fernandez to win the 20th Mexican Open in Acapulco.
The title means Watson moves back into the WTA top 50 having become the first British player to win the women’s singles in Mexico. Fernandez, of Canada, had an impressive tournament considering she is just 17 years old, but lost in the final 6-4, 6-7, 6-1.
Watson, the British number two, started well but was thwarted from taking the second set after Fernandez broke her serve at 6-5 to prompt a tie break. The Canadian saved five championship points in an intensely close tie break and won it 10-8.
However, Watson took control again in the deciding third set and won the final set with relative ease, conjuring up a truly dominating display.
She built on her performance at the end of last season at the Tianjin Open, only losing to Rebecca Peterson in the final. Watson will be pleased to have found this form with the French Open coming up in May, and Wimbledon in June, although it may be a worry that she was only able to close out the match on her tenth championship point.
Unfortunately for Watson, her momentum did not continue into the Monterrey Open, where she was defeated in the round of 32 by Tatjana Maria, of Germany, who stands at 91st in the WTA rankings. Watson had the chance to win the match when she led 4-1 in the deciding set but ended up losing 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 5-7. Maria goes on to face British number one Johanna Konta in the round of 16.
Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal once again showed his unending class, defeating Taylor Fritz in straight sets in the final. This was Nadal’s first victory in Mexico since the tournament changed to a hard clay court in 2014, a tournament where Grigor Dimitrov ended the six-year dominance from Spanish competitors.