Watson reaches Birmingham semi-finals

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Heather Watson
Heather Watson is the first British woman to reach the semi-finals at Birmingham since Jo Durie in 1992

British number two Heather Watson reached the semi-finals of the Birmingham Classic with a straight-set victory over third seed Donna Vekic.

After play was called off because of rain on Friday, Watson sealed a 6-4 6-2 win against Croatia’s 2013 finalist.

The 29-year-old Briton broke Vekic twice in each set and will meet Tunisian second seed Ons Jabeur for a place in the final later on Saturday.

Jabeur, ranked 24th in the world, beat Russian Anastasia Potapova 6-4 6-0.

Watson, who led 5-2 when China’s Zhang Shuai retired in their quarter-final match on Wednesday, broke the Vekic serve in the Croat’s opening two service Matches.

The world number 54 restored parity before Watson held on for the first set.

After consolidating another early break in the second, world number 70 Watson saved two break points before moving 4-1 ahead in the next game to take complete control and went on to take her second match point on serve.

In Berlin, Victoria Azarenka faces Russian Ludmilla Samsonova in the semi-finals on Saturday after triumphing in her first grass-court quarter-final since 2015 against American Jessica Pegula.

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