Watson impresses as Edmund progresses

Britain's Heather Watson. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Britain's Heather Watson. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
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British no 1 Heather Watson cbattled the elements and her nerves to reach the final of the Hobart International on Friday.

In a match played in strong winds and interrupted six times by rain, Watson defeated American Alison Riske 6-3 7-5 to continue her impressive preparation for next week’s Australian Open.

The world number 49 recovered from 3-1 down in the opening set to win the next five games in succession and also came back from the same deficit in the second.

Leading 5-4, Watson let her first two match points slip but had just set up a third when heavy rain forced the players from the court once again.

That led to a delay of an hour and it was hardly surprising that Watson served a double fault when play eventually resumed and followed that by losing the next two points and her serve.

However, the 22-year-old promptly broke Riske’s serve to lead 6-5 and this time served out for a place in Saturday’s final.

Beverley’s Kyle Edmund is seeking to seal his place in the main draw of the Australian Open men’s singles.

The 20-year-old had earned a spot in the final round of qualifying after backing up his straight-sets win over Tristan Lamasine of France with a 6-4 6-7 6-2 verdict over Austin Krajicek of the United States.

He meets Australian Dane Propoggia in the early hours of Saturday for a place in next week’s first round.

Liam Broady, 21, was up against American Michael Russell in the final round of qualifying after edging a fiercely-contested affair with American Jared Donaldson, winning 7-6 (7/4) 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 in a match lasting over three hours.