Tokyo – Heather Watson became the first Briton to win a WTA singles title in 24 years by beating Taiwan's Chang Kai-chen 7-5 5-7 7-6 in the final of the Japan Open in Osaka on Sunday.

The British No 2 succeeded where Laura Robson had failed in Guangzhou last month to become the country's first winner on the women's tour since Sara Gomer in 1988.

Before Robson and Watson the last Briton to reach a WTA final was Jo Durie at Newport in 1990 – before either player was born.

Watson had demonstrated her potential by pushing French Open champion Maria Sharapova to three sets in Tokyo last month, the Russian tipping her to be a future winner.

The 20-year-old from Guernsey had already surpassed her career-best results on the WTA Tour – three quarter-finals last year. – Reuters