Pro Tour titles for Klein, Liu
Sunday's Pro Tour finals saw Brit Brydan Klein triumph in Wollongong and China's Liu Fangzhou take the title in Bendigo.
British third seed Brydan Klein has defeated Aussie Andrew Whittington to take out the 2014 Tennis Wollongong Centenary International in extremely windy conditions, 6-3 6-3.
The match, which at times looked not far from being halted due to the strong wind, saw both men fighting to simply keep the ball alive.
Klein, however, appeared to better manage the conditions as he broke the Whittington serve on four occasions, navigating his way to a set and 5-1 before the Australian added some respectability to the scoreboard with a late break of his own.
It was a bridge too far for Whittington though, as Klein was able to close out proceedings with his next service game.
“I guess I just put more balls in than the other person,” said 24-year-old Klein. “I was just trying to block every ball and make as many returns as possible and let the wind do the rest.
“It was pretty scrappy, a lot of slices, safe shots, basically just waiting for errors. I was literally just aiming for the middle of the box every serve and blocking returns.”
Despite the conditions hampering the spectacle, Klein – a winner in Alice Springs last month – said he was particularly pleased with his form of late.
“I’ve been playing really well,” he said. “I’ve had a few tough first rounds recently but it’s really good to get the win here.”
The tennis in Wollongong continues this week with a second title on offer.
Liu too strong in Bendigo
Meanwhile, China’s Liu Fangzhou has completed a remarkable run in the 2014 Bendigo Tennis International, taking out fifth seed Risa Ozaki in straight sets on Sunday to claim the second Bendigo title on offer this year.
After clinching a tight opening set, the unseeded 18-year-old stormed back from a 3-0 deficit in the second to prevail 6-4 6-3.
Her path to the title included upset wins over seventh seeded Australian Daria Gavrilova and top seed Misa Eguchi from Japan – who she defeated in a tense third set tiebreaker.
Liu is now closing on the world’s top 200 and judging on this week’s performance, it appears the young teen has the potential to climb further still.
Conversely, Ozaki – the higher ranked player going into Sunday’s contest – was out to make amends for her loss to Liu in China last year, the only other occasion the two have met.
Unfortunately, she found herself halted at the final hurdle for the second consecutive week, after falling to compatriot Eri Hozumi in the first of the Bendigo events.
It’s nonetheless been a successful Australian Pro tour for the 20-year-old and she will be buoyed by her consistency in the past month; she also made a semifinal appearance in Margaret River.