Photo: Tim HartisSacha Jones (AUS)
PORT PIRIE, AUSTRALIA: Following a first round exit in qualifying at the US Open, Sacha Jones has enjoyed a fruitful return to her native Australia.
The 21-year-old secured her ninth ITF Pro Circuit title with a win at the $25,000 event in Cairns at the start of the month, and travelled to Port Pirie in an attempt to move her ITF Pro Circuit singles title wins into double figures.
Jones, who had previously won at Port Pirie in 2009, and was entering the competition as second seed, began the tournament in stylish fashion. After defeating qualifier, Chloe Hule, without losing a game, she conquered Japan’s Mari Tanaka by the same scoreline to earn a place in the final eight.
She was pitted against another Japanese opponent at the quarterfinal stage, this time losing just three games in a 61 62 win against sixth seed Misa Eguchi.
The Australian produced another intimidating performance in the semifinal, defeating a further seeded player in the form of seventh seed, Zuzana Zlochova, who also had nine ITF Pro Circuit titles to her name prior to the tournament, by a score of 62 60.
Victory meant that Jones had lost just five games ahead of the final, where she would face compatriot and top seed, Olivia Rogowska. The pair had previously met two weeks earlier in the final at Rockhampton, Australia, with Rogowska overcoming Jones in a tough three sets encounter.
Similarly to their contest in Rockhampton, the opening set went the way of Jones, 62, ensuring her opponent would have to repeat her comeback win of two weeks ago if she wished to claim her second straight title.
However, in a closely fought second set, it was Jones who triumphed after breaking the number one seed late in the game, subsequently taking her tenth ITF Pro Circuit singles title courtesy of a 62 75 win.
As well as her singles success, Jones teamed up with Sally Peers to taste victory in the doubles. The number one seeds defeated Chanel Simmonds and Stephanie Bengson in the final, 64 62, with Jones not dropping a set in either singles or doubles action during her week in Port Pirie.
Jones will undoubtedly hope to add to her ITF Pro Circuit tally as she continues to take in hard court tournaments in her home nation throughout October.