Zoe Hives (Vic) has taken out her biggest career title winning the Apis Canberra International, while Jordan Thompson’s (NSW) victory sees him become just the second player to record 52 wins on the ATP Challenger Tour in a single season.
Hives came out of the blocks firing against defending champion Olivia Rogowska (Vic), breaking early to go out to a 4-2 lead. She served for the first set at 5-3, but Rogowska broke back, before another break of serve saw Hives clinch the first set.
Hives continued her strong form in the second securing a break to go up 3-1. The 22-year-old held her nerve to bring up match point on Rogowska’s serve at 5-2. Hives hit a strong return with Rogowska hitting a forehand into the net, sealing Hives’ third Pro Tour title for the year and her maiden USD$60,000 title.
It capped off an incredible week for Hives who fought through three 3-set matches just to make the final.
“I can’t say I was expecting it with that score, with the way my scores have been going this week I was expecting it to be going into 3 sets. I came out and was feeling really good, it’s the best I was feeling all week.”
Hives will now spend some time recovering from a big few weeks which also saw her claim the Pro Tour title in Toowoomba, before beginning preparations for the Australian Summer of Tennis.
“The rest of this year is getting my body right, addressing a few things that have come up in these six weeks of tournaments.
“There is the [Australian Open] Wild Card playoff and I will do my best efforts there. Next year will be cracking the top 200 hopefully and I will see how I go with that”.
In the men’s final, Thompson cruised through the opening set over rising star Nicola Kuhn (ESP) 6-1 in just 20 minutes.
With scores locked at 5-5 in the second set, Kuhn held serve to put the pressure back on Thompson. Kuhn managed to secure the break to take the second set.
The third set proved to be a back and forth battle with a total of five breaks of serve. It was Thompson though who secured the break at 4-4 and went on to hold serve claiming his second consecutive ATP Challenger title and third title for 2018.
Thompson has now won 14 of his past 15 matches on the ATP Challenger Tour and was pleased to come away with the win.
“I nearly played a flawless first set, I didn’t miss many balls, and my serves went really well. I barely made an error, but of course Nicola picked up his game and in the end it turned into a real battle”.
The results the past few weeks have seen Thompson return to the world’s top 100 with the Australian pleased with where he sits at the end of his season.“I slipped out of rankings [top 100] for two months. I have been there for a while, it was disappointed to slip out, but I just have to get back out there and keep going.
“I was expecting to be around 90 thinking I had two more tournaments to go, and I won these two events and made a big jump so I am pretty happy with myself.
Women’s Singles Final – Zoe Hives (Vic) d  Olivia Rogowska (Vic) 6-4 6-2
Men’s Singles Final –  Jordan Thompson (NSW) d Nicola Kuhn (ESP) 6-1 5-7 6-4
Women’s Doubles Final  Ellen Perez (NSW) / Arina Rodionova (Vic) d  Naiktha Bains (Qld) / Destanee Aiava (vic) 6-7(5) 6-3 10-7
Men’s Doubles Final – Evan Hoyt (GBR) / Tung-Lin Wu (TPE) d Jeremy Beale (Vic) / Thomas Fancutt (Qld) 7-6(5) 5-7 10-8
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Apis Canberra International 2018 Fast Facts
- One hundred and twenty athletes from 19 countries played 147 matches across nine days.
- The longest match went for three hours and seven minutes with Blake Ellis (AUS) defeating Luke Saville (AUS) 7-6(4) 6-7(2) 7-6(5).
- Lennock Jaguar and Land Rover courtesy cars completed 458 trips covering 6755 kilometres.
- Thirty-two local volunteers contributed 841 hours throughout the event.
- One hundred ballkids contributed 1538 hours during the event.
- A hot week of Canberra weather saw players consume 2280 bottles of water and 528 bottles of Powerade,
Over 800 people attended Kids Tennis Day, with Nick Kyrgios handing out 100 free racquets and hitting with local youngsters.