4 November 2019 | Tennis SA

James Duckworth (NSW) and Storm Sanders (WA) are the 2019 City of Playford Tennis International II champions after taking out the singles titles in Elizabeth East, South Australia yesterday.

Duckworth defeated top seed, world No.78 Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 7-6(2) 6-4 to take home his ninth ATP Challenger title. The win sees Duckworth’s ranking climb from 130 to 110.

Duckworth didn’t lose a set on his way to the final, defeating Alexander Crnokrak (AUS), Tristan Schoolkate (AUS) and seventh seed Jay Clarke (GBR) before overcoming third seed Tatsuma Ito (JPN) in the semifinal.

“It’s always nice to win on home soil. I was a little bit disappointed with my week last week, so I wanted to respond well and I think I was able to do that,” Duckworth said.

“It was great to play here with all of the support I was getting. I’m really happy to have won this week and push my ranking up closer to the top 100.”

On the women’s side, Sanders continued her singles comeback after a two year hiatus, overpowering third seed Lizette Cabrera (Qld) 6-3 6-4 to claim her first singles title since 2013.

On her way to the final, Sanders defeated fourth seed Kaylah McPhee (AUS), Alexandra Bozovic (AUS), Naiktha Bains (GBR) and in the semifinals overcame Chihiro Muramatsu (JPN).

“It was a really good match. I played Lizette last week in Bendigo and it was a three setter, which was really tough,” Sanders said.

“I was going out for revenge but at the same time, I have no pressure on myself, so I was telling myself I was playing in the final and I was really just excited to be out there and enjoying myself.

“I played a really solid match, I was just staying aggressive and taking my chances,” Sanders added.

Sanders, together with partner Asia Muhammad (USA), also claimed the women’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over third seeds Naiktha Bains (GBR) and Tereza Mihalikova (SVK).

The Finnish pairing of Harri Heliovaara and Patrik Niklas-Salminen defeated crowd favourite top seeds Ruben Gonzales (PHI) and Evan King (USA) 6-4 6-7(4) [10-7] to claim the men’s doubles crown.