Tuesday, January 25

Aussies sweep doubles titles


KUCHING: Australia made a clean sweep of the doubles titles at the 17th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup (I) ITF World Junior Tennis Championship (Group One) at Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association centre yesterday.

DOMINANT: Winners of the boys and girls doubles (from left) Saville, Barty, Meyers and Swaysland with their trophies after the prize presentation.

It took the pair of Ashleigh Barty and Abbie Meyers, who went into the final without dropping a single set, one hour 20 minutes to overpower their opponents Anna Danilina (Kazakshtan) and Yuliya Lysa (Ukraine) 7-5, 6-2 in the girls doubles final.

Prior to the final, the Australians beat the Japanese pair of Risa Ozaki and Nao Hibino 7-6(1), 6-1 in the first round, upset second seeds Jang Su Jeong/Lee So-Ra of South Korea 6-2, 7-5 in the next round.

In the quarter-finals where they met fifth seeds Barbara Haas (Germany) and Carol Zhao (Canada), they triumphed 6-4, 6-2.

Barty and Meyers went on to steamroll E Douglas-Miron and Kimberly-Ann Surin of Canada 6-1, 6-2 in the last four.

“It was quite an amazing and pleasing win for me. I do feel good because this is a good achievement for me considering that I was also here last year but lost in the first round,” said Meyers after the match.

Prior to the Kuching tournament, Meyers, who hails from New South Wales, has also won two singles and two doubles titles in two tournaments in New Zealand last month.

She will next be flying to the Philippines to compete in the next ITF tournament there.

For Barty, this win was considered as one of the best results on the ITF tournaments.

“This is also my first win in the doubles here and I really enjoyed myself playing in Kuching,” she said.

She attributed the success to the good bonding between Meyers and her and the ability to read their opponents’ game.

“Our opponents were quite solid at the start but we managed to get the top of them and win in the end. We bonded well together because we are good friends and have been playing together for a while,” said the junior player from Queensland.

Barty stands a chance to complete a double as she is playing Carol Zhao of Canada in the girls singles final today.

The Australian lass booked her final ticket after demolishing third seed Miyu Kato of Japan 6-0, 6-2 in the semi-final earlier yesterday.

Zhao was a 6-3, 7-6(5) winner over Jovana Jaksic of Serbia in the other semi-final.

The unseeded Australian boys Joey Swaysland and Luke Saville followed up the girls’ victory with a 6-4, 6-3 win over sixth seeds Jeson Patrombon (Philippines) and Jaden Grinter (New Zealand) also in one hour 20 minutes.

They were having a tough time as Grinter was serving very well and Patrombon was the boys singles top seed.

“We were quite confident and playing pretty well today. We came here to win in this prestigious tournament and we have achieved that,” said 17-year-old Swaysland who added that the reason for the win was that they had gelled well and prepared a game plan against their final opponents.

It was also the first doubles title for the player from New South Wales in Kuching and his first this year.

“It is a confidence booster for me to do well in other ITF tournaments and some senior events,” he added.

It was also the first win for the 17-year-old Saville from South Australia in Kuching.

Prior to the 17th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup, Saville was a runner-up in the Australian Open Junior and a runner-up in a tournament in Traralgon, Melbourne.

Australia has another title challenger in the boys singles as second seed Andrew Whittington booked his final ticket after carving out a 6-2, 7-5 win over unseeded Robin Kerne from Germany.

He should expect a spirited challenge from top seed Jeson Patrombon today as the Filipino teen will be going all out to make amends for his loss in the boys doubles final yesterday.

Patrombon moved into the final after beating another German Jannis Kahlke 6-3, 6-1 in the semi-final.