Ozaki on top in Bendigo
Top seed Risa Ozaki of Japan has defeated American Asia Muhammad in straight sets to take Bendigo title.
Risa Ozaki has defeated Asia Muhammad to claim the Bendigo Tennis International title on Sunday, following in the footsteps of Japanese compatriot Misa Eguchi last year.
It was a solid win for the top seed in the $50,000 ITF event, seizing the opportunity when it mattered most to take out the American 6-3 6-3.
“I’m so happy,” Ozaki said. “It was a windy day and it was a bit difficult to play but I enjoyed the match very much.”
The win will see the 22-year-old reach a career-high ranking and edge closer to the world’s top 100 – but she already has her eyes set on higher achievements.
“I’m getting close now,” she said. “But my goal is still definitely top ten in the future.”
In taking the title, the current world No.117 also reversed her fortunes from Saturday, when Muhammad and Australian Arina Rodionova took the doubles crown from her and partner Shuko Aoyama 6-4 6-3.
Three Australians – Lizette Cabrera, Naiktha Bains and Tammi Patterson – reached the quarterfinal stage of the singles event in Bendigo this week.
Once again it was Cabrera who impressed most, taking a set from Ozaki before bowing out – in the process underscoring the decision to reward her recent good form with a wildcard into qualifying at the upcoming Australian Open.