Barty and Dellacqua’s perfect return thwarted in Port Pirie
Aussie duo Ash Barty and Casey Dellacqua fell short in the Port Pirie ITF women's doubles final on Friday, but gained some valuable match play.
Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua have fallen in the 2016 Nyrstar Port Pirie Women’s International doubles final on Friday.
The Aussie duo failed to recover from the quick start made by No.1 seeds Lee Ya-Hsuan and Riko Sawayanagi, who took the title 6-4 7-5.
“The main purpose for playing in Port Pirie was to get some matches and we got the maximum possible by making the final,” Dellacqua said. “It’s obviously disappointing not to win it but we came up against a team that played some solid tennis today.
“All in all, it was positive. We were just a wildcard this week and we made the final, so in that sense it was great that we were able to compete really well. We are only going to get better.”
Down a set and a break, the pairing – one of Australia’s most accomplished with two WTA titles and three Grand Slam finals to their name – were required to dig deep, but despite a gallant fight back which nearly paid dividends, their experience could not quite compensate for the recent lack of match play.
“Hopefully when we’ve played some more, those matches will start to go our way,” Dellacqua said.
Barty launched her comeback to professional tennis earlier in February at back-to-back Australian Pro Tour events in Perth, where she won a doubles title with West Australian Jessica Moore.
“I was pretty excited when she said she was ready,” Dellacqua said of Barty’s decision.
Dellacqua’s own return from injury also commenced this month, when she teamed up with Samantha Stosur to win the deciding doubles rubber in the Fed Cup tie against Slovakia.
The men’s doubles final saw dynamic combination Alex Bolt and Andrew Whittington continue their successful partnership with an eighth ITF Futures title when they saw off Marc Polmans and Kiwi Ruben Statham 7-6(1) 6-3.
In singles action, three Aussies join Statham to fight it out for the men’s title this weekend.
Unseeded Chris O’Connell continued his strong showing in the event to oust No.4 seed Maverick Banes while Blake Mott, hot on the heels of his maiden ATP Challenger title in Launceston, proved too much for Victorian Dayne Kelly.
O’Connell next meets 18-year-old Polmans, a 6-2 6-3 winner over No.6 seed Whittington, while Mott, 19, will need to get past the experienced Statham to book his place in back-to-back finals.
After taking the Perth #2 ITF crown last week, in-form Aussie Arina Rodionova continues her own quest for consecutive Pro Tour titles, defeating freshly crowned doubles titlist and third seed Lee 7-6(4) 6-0 to reach the semifinals. Rodionova will next face Sawayanagi, the event’s second seed.
The remaining women’s semifinal will be contested between Austrian fifth seed Barbara Haas – who accounted for Canberra’s Alison Bai on Friday – and West Australian wildcard Jessica Moore, a 6-1 6-4 winner over rising French teen Tessah Andrianjafitrimo.