O’Connell upsets Mott to take Port Pirie title
Chris O'Connell has defeated Blake Mott to take the $25,000 ITF Futures event in Port Pirie, denying the teenager consecutive Pro Tour titles.
Chris O’Connell has taken out the 2016 Nyrstar Port Pirie Men’s Tennis International title after defeating teenage third seed Blake Mott on Sunday.
“It’s my third year here, so it’s good to finally get the title,” O’Connell said. “I’ve always had good results in these tournaments but I’ve never really pushed all the way through, so it feels good to do it today.”
The 21-year-old, who was not seeded in Port Pirie, won his second ITF Futures title 7-6(6) 3-6 6-2, but was forced to work hard, saving four set points in the opening set when his opponent was making all the running.
Mott, winner of the recent Launceston ATP Challenger, didn’t face a single break point leading into the first set tiebreaker and while unable to convert his opportunities, was looking as though consecutive Australian Pro Tour titles might be within his grasp.
However, O’Connell hung tough and took advantage at the crucial moments to snatch the set away from him. Despite the disappointment, Mott rallied in the second set and after breaking early was able to hold on and send the match into a decider. But it was the Sydneysider who made the move in the final set, and while Mott tried to turn things around, O’Connell proved too strong.
“I’ve got a different frame of mind these days and I feel very fit out on court,” O’Connell said. “I definitely feel like I can win all the matches I’m playing. That’s one of the big things.”
O’Connell now continues on to the Australian Pro Tour event in Mildura where he hopes to find further success.
After taking the honours in Perth last week, in-form Australian Arina Rodionova was denied back-to-back Pro Tour titles in the women’s event, as Austrian fifth seed Barbara Haas defeated her to win a ninth ITF crown.
In a battle that lasted almost three hours, 19-year-old Haas won a tight first set before Rodionova fought her way back to level the match. The final set saw Haas’ strong groundstrokes come to the fore as she eventually took the title 6-4 5-7 6-4.