Pro Tour titles for Barton and Sanders
Matthew Barton won his first ATP Challenger title in Adelaide while Storm Sanders claimed her first ITF tournament win in Launceston at the weekend.
Matthew Barton (Collaroy, NSW) has won his first ATP Challenger title at the $50,000 Charles Sturt Adelaide International in West Lakes, South Australia, while Storm Sanders (Safety Bay, WA) has claimed her first ITF tournament win at the $25,000 Launceston Tennis International in Tasmania at the weekend.
Twenty-one-year-old Barton clinched his title with a 6-2 6-3 win over Brit James Ward at the inaugural West Lakes Challenger event, a victory that will likely see his ranking climb from No. 345 to inside the world’s top 250.
“It’s so exciting, I’m over the moon and really looking forward to the future,” Barton said after his win.
“The scoreline sounds pretty easy but James is a great player, we played last year in a really tight match and he got me then so it’s great to get one back. I played a great match from the very start, I managed to get on top of him early in the second set and it was just a perfect match for me.”
Barton showed remarkable composure in his first ATP Challenger final, putting Ward on the back foot from the outset with his punishing first serve and lethal forehand.
“I think my ranking will be inside 250 now so I can play Grand Slam qualifying. I’m looking forward to that and hopefully it’s a really good year for me,” he said.
Earlier in the week Barton scored wins over Italian No. 8 seed Alessandro Giannessi (4-3 ret.), local hope Luke Saville (Barmera, SA, 6-2 6-2), Frenchman Stephane Robert (6-4 6-1) and Russian Alexander Lobkov (6-1 7-5) to book his place in the final.
He will contest the ATP Challenger event at Sydney Olympic Park later this month before following the Challenger circuit to Japan.
On a big day for the Australians at West Lakes, Sam Groth (Templestowe, Vic) and Matt Reid (Dural, NSW) defeated Greg Jones (Manly, NSW) and James Duckworth (Gordon, NSW) 6-2 6-4 in an all-Aussie doubles decider.
Meanwhile in Launceston, 18-year-old Storm Sanders survived “a huge week” to take out the $25,000 Launceston Tennis International with a 6-4 6-4 win over Shuko Aoyama (JPN).
“I’m feeling pretty good right now, I was feeling good before the match and I’ve been feeling good all tournament,” Sanders said after claiming her first ITF win.
“I went out and tried to play one point at a time, play really aggressive tennis and take every opportunity and I’m really happy with the way I played.”
Trailing 1-3 in the opening set Sanders soon found her rhythm to take control of the match.
“At 5-2 in the second I got a little bit nervous, I was a bit shaky and I made a few errors. She played a few good points and then I got broken at 5-3 but I played my way back into it,” she said.
Sanders, a qualifier in the event, commenced her Launceston campaign with victory over Croatia’s Ana Savic (7-5 6-3) before posting impressive wins over No. 8 seed Arina Rodionova (Melbourne, Vic, 6-2 6-3), top seed Olivia Rogowska (St Kilda, Vic, 7-5 7-6(3)) and Russian Ksenia Lykina (6-1 6-2) to advance to the final.
“It’s been a huge week, I really like Launceston, it’s a great venue, everyone here is wonderful and I’ve had a really great tournament,” Sanders said.
“Playing qualifying got me a few good matches, then I had a tough first round against Ana Savic and I got through that and played Arina and Olivia and they were both tough matches in really windy, tough conditions and then I played a good match to win through to the final.
“This is the best result I’ve ever had so I’m feeling really confident. I go to Mildura next week and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The Pro Tour now moves to Melbourne for the men’s Melbourne Park Tennis International, commencing tomorrow. The women have a week off.