Casey Dellacqua, a player who has represented her nation in both Fed Cup and Hopman Cup competition, is our featured player for October.
The 26-year old Australian competed in two $25,000 hard court tournaments during the month hoping to continue her recent title winning form which saw her triumph in back-to-back Australian tournaments in Cairns and Darwin.
Her two tournaments this month saw her competing in Western Australia and first up was an appearance in Esperance. Here she was seeded third in the singles event and named as the doubles top seed with partner Olivia Rogowska.
In the opening three rounds Dellacqua defeated each of her opponents in straight sets including eliminating the eighth seed Yi-Fan Xu from China in the quarterfinal.
Dellacqua’s semifinal opponent was the New Zealander Sacha Jones, the top seed and defending champion and it was the 2010 champ who made the better start of the two players. With only two games won in the opening set Dellacqua found herself facing an exit from the event.
The Australian, however, was able to put off the threat of defeat a little while longer as she levelled the match, taking the second set 64. With her game now in the ascendancy she rediscovered her earlier form and with a reverse of the opening set score line she cruised into the final.
Standing on the opposite side of the net to her for the title match was the Australian number two seed and also her doubles partner Olivia Rogowska! Two days prior to this singles final the pair were on the same side winning their fifth doubles title of 2011.
Considering this final was a clash of the top two seeds and between players who knew each other’s game from their time together as doubles partners, this proved to be a very one-sided contest.
Dellacqua dominated the opening set, racing to a 62 win and then further exerted her dominance in the second set where she only dropped one game. This 62 61 win meant that Dellacqua would be leaving with both the singles and doubles titles for the seventh time in her career.
Next was a trip to Kalgoorlie. This tournament saw her named the top seed in both singles and doubles events. Once again, she partnered Rogowska.
Having won the title here back in early 2007 this tournament held good memories for Dellacqua. The first round saw her up against Storm Sanders, the first of four fellow Aussies she would face this week in singles play.
The first set required a tie break to settle it, taken emphatically 7-1 by Dellacqua, before she blew her opponent away in the second set, conceding just one game. Another straight sets win followed in round two which set up a quarterfinal with British fifth seed Melanie South.
It wasn’t long, however, before Dellacqua was leaving the court with yet another two set victory to her name, winning through to the semifinal by a 63 62 score line. Amazingly, she then only dropped two games in a 62 60 semifinal win to reach a second singles final in as many weeks.
At the same time she was making progress through the singles draw, Dellacqua was once again, with Rogowska, easing through the doubles event. The pair wrapped up a succession of straight sets wins to make it into a second successive final.
The final, staged two days before the singles final, saw the pair romp to a convincing 61 61 victory over their third seeded opponents from China.
Considering Dellacqua and Rogowska only formed a partnership back in February 2011, this was their sixth title together. Previously, and rather impressively, they won their first four tournaments before a run of three semifinal appearances, of which two came in Canada and USA, leading up to this month.
Returning to the singles event and the final showdown with Monique Adamczak, who was contesting her second singles final of the year, Dellacqua was looking to secure another Australian title.
So far this year, including the doubles final here, Dellacqua had a 100% success rate in finals on the ITF Pro Circuit, claiming four singles and six doubles titles, and she extended this proud record further with a 62 62 defeat of her fellow Australian.
The 2008 Roland Garros doubles runner-up, who has been ranked as high as 39 in singles and 9 in doubles with the WTA, is gradually climbing the rankings ladder again and will surely be aiming to break back into the singles Top 100 during 2012.