Duckworth, Sharma win Australian Pro Tour singles titles at Playford
Australians James Duckworth and Astra Sharma have been crowned singles champions at the 2023 City of Playford Tennis International.
James Duckworth has won back-to-back ATP Challenger singles titles for the first time in his career.
After winning a title in China last week without dropping a set, the resurgent 31-year-old continued his red-hot form at an Australian Pro Tour event in Adelaide.
Duckworth secured the City of Playford Tennis International men’s singles title with a 7-5 7-5 triumph against Hong Kong’s Coleman Wong in today’s final.
“I’ve never won back-to-back weeks before, so to consistently put together 10 good matches is a real confidence boost,” Duckworth said.
In a rematch of last week’s Shenzhen title match, Duckworth had to dig deeper to fend off his 19-year-old opponent. The fourth-seeded Aussie proved clutch under pressure though, saving eight of the nine break points faced in the one-hour and 43-minute encounter.
“It was a really difficult match. Coleman has been playing great this whole week,” world No.125 Duckworth said.
This is Duckworth’s 21st career singles title – and his 14th at ATP Challenger level, extending the Australian record he set last week.
It is his second Playford title, having previously won the tournament in 2019. This makes Duckworth the tournament’s first two-time singles champion.
“It’s my third time in Playford. I have really good memories here and I really enjoy playing on Centre Court,” Duckworth commented. “It’s a great court, the conditions suit me well and I get good crowd support. Having people out here cheering for me really helps in those big moments and I’ve really enjoyed coming back.”
Astra Sharma dominated the ITF 60 women’s singles competition, scooping the title without losing a set. The 28-year-old from Perth notched a 7-6(6) 6-0 victory against Chinese Taipei’s Joanna Garland in the final.
This is Sharma’s 10th career singles title and her first won on Australian soil in five years.
“It means a lot to have won the title this week,” Sharma said.
“It was a really tricky match, Joanna is a really good player coming off a lot of wins. In that first set, she had me on the ropes and I was pretty lucky to get out of it. I managed to find a little bit of rhythm early in the second and get ahead quickly.
“The tournament was amazing. The hospitality has been unbelievable, I felt really looked after. The conditions were a bit tricky with the wind this week, but the people and the tournament really made up for it.”
Sharma also advanced to the doubles final alongside Kaylah McPhee, however they couldn’t stop the all-conquering pairing of Talia Gibson and Priscilla Hon in an all-Australian final.
Gibson, 19-year-old from Perth, and Hon, a 25-year-old from Brisbane, swept through the women’s doubles draw without conceding a set. The second seeds secured the title with a 6-1 6-2 victory in the final.
This is a seventh career ITF double title for Gibson and her second in Playford, having also won the title last year.
It is Hon’s 11th career ITF doubles title and her biggest in over five years.
American combination Ryan Seggerman and Patrik Trhac claimed the men’s doubles title, beating the Aussie pairing of Blake Ellis and Tristan Schoolkate 6-3 7-6(3) in the final.
City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty congratulated the champions, and all competitors, for their efforts across the week.
“With the strongest player line-up this tournament has seen, we have had an incredible week of competition with all players putting on a great spectacle for the people of Playford and our visitors,” he said.
The Australian Pro Tour now heads to Sydney, with the NSW Open being played at Sydney Olympic Park next week. This is a combined ATP Challenger event for men and an ITF 60 tournament for women.
City of Playford Tennis International finals
Men’s singles:  James Duckworth (AUS) d Coleman Wong (HKG) 7-5 7-5
Women’s singles:  Astra Sharma (AUS) d Joanna Garland (TPE) 7-6(6) 6-0
Men’s doubles: Ryan Seggerman (USA)/Patrik Trhac (USA) d  Blake Ellis (AUS)/Tristan Schoolkate (AUS) 6-3 7-6(3)
Women’s doubles:  Talia Gibson (AUS)/Priscilla Hon (AUS) d  Kaylah McPhee (AUS)/Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-1 6-2
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