Heather Watson has been knocked out of the WTA Birmingham Classic, falling 6-3, 6-3 to Ons Jabeur.
With rain causing those who advanced to play two singles matches on Saturday, a hard-fought third game in the opening set proved pivotal in the afternoon semi-final.
Watson saved four break points but Jabeur took it on the fifth attempt to take a 3-1 lead. Jabeur never looked back after that as she broke the Watson serve again to win it 6-3.
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Watson looked as though she may mount a fightback when she broke Jabeur's serve in the opening game of the second set, but Jabeur immediately broke straight back before taking the next five games on her serve.
Jabeur clinched it on her first match point as Watson fired her service return long.
The final will be Jabeur's first on grass and will face the winner of Coco Vandeweghe vs Daria Kasatkina.
WATSON'S COMPLETE PERFORMANCE AGAINST VEKIC
Watson put in a complete performance against Donna Vekic in the semi-final, beating the Croatian 6-4, 6-2.
In total Watson registered seven aces, won 92 per cent of points on her first serve, was never broken and saved all of her break points to move into the semi-finals.
Watson twice broke the Vekic serve on her opening two service games to go 2-1 up before impressing on her own serve.
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She slammed down four aces and won 100 per cent of her first serve points en route to taking the opening set in half an hour.
The 29-year-old capitalised on her momentum by breaking Vekic in the opening game of the second set before doing so again in the fifth game to go 5-1 up.
Watson then secured a place in the semi-final on her second match point to register arguably her biggest win since beating Kristyna Plsikova in the second round of the Australian Open in January 2020.
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