Wollongong NSW, Australia, 22 November 2014 | David Packman
It was a lopsided pair of semifinals at the 2014 Tennis Wollongong Centenary International #2 on Saturday with unseeded Kiwi Jose (Rubin) Statham and top American Jarmere Jenkins, the top seed, easing through to the final at the expense of two Aussies.
Statham registered a comfortable victory over third-seeded Dane Propoggia, 6-2 6-1, breaking the Sydneysider on five occasions during the match.
“I’m hitting the ball really well,” 27-year-old Statham said. “It’s good to get the win.”
The experienced Kiwi looks to be returning to his best after a long bout on the sidelines with an injured elbow.
“I’ve only been back a couple of months now so maybe I’m a bit fresher than others who are at the end of a long season,” he said. “But I do feel like I’m coming into a bit of form now as well.”
Meanwhile, Jenkins took care of fourth seed Maverick Banes 6-1 6-1.
The Gold Coaster had been in good touch recently and was playing his second consecutive semifinal in Wollongong, however, there little he could do to tame the American – clearly in career best form during his stint in Australia – as Jenkins motored to victory.
Jenkins is looking to add a third title to his name during the 2014 Australian Pro Tour after taking out Cairns and Toowomba during a scintillating two-week run in October.
Now on the verge of cracking the world’s 200 for the first time, the 25-year-old looks on paper to be the favourite for the title, but the unseeded Statham is growing in confidence each match after his injury return and – perhaps most tellingly – has the fresh legs.
He is more than capable of causing an upset on Sunday.