Alex Bolt (AUS) def Colin Sinclair (MNP) 6-3, 6-2
Competing in his first tournament since March, Alex Bolt has returned to the tour in style, taking out his seventh career professional singles title in Cairns at the 25K ITF tournament.
Bolt – who had managed just one win in twelve months, after a difficult stretch on tour before undergoing surgery in April – came into the week ranked 1540.
The 29-year-old Aussie worked his way through the draw and back into form, overcoming fellow Aussies Philip Sekulic and Adam Walton in tight quarterfinal and semifinal contests.
In Sunday’s final, Bolt overpowered 27-year-old Colin Sinclair – hitting ten aces and winning 81% of points behind his first serve to claim the trophy.
After what has undoubtedly been a tough year, Bolt was elated as he converted his first match point – hitting a ball across the Cairns International Tennis Centre in a show of emotion.
The Aussie, who pushed eventual finalist Dominic Thiem to five sets at the 2020 Australian Open, begins his climb back to Grand Slam level – moving to an approximate live ranking of 746.
Bolt, alongside a host of other Aussies, will take to the Cairns courts again this week as the local ITF swing continues.
 Priscilla Hon (AUS) def  Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4
24-year-old Priscilla Hon has won her third ITF singles title of the season and seventh of her career at the 25K event in Cairns.
In a much stronger draw than those seen at the previous two local tournaments in Darwin, Hon entered the event as the top seed and progressed into Sunday’s final with relative ease.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Kimberly Birrell overcame the in-form Alexandra Bozovic in straight sets on her way to the final – the second singles decider she has reached in 2022.
With Hon and Birrell having met just three weeks prior in Korea – in a match that went the distance – both players would have come in expecting a tight contest.
And the all-Aussie showdown was exactly that – Hon fending off a match point in the second set tiebreak to prevail in a three-hour and thirty-two-minute battle.
A duel filled with extended rallies saw the pair split by just three total points over three sets – ultimately enough for Hon to lift the trophy.
The 24-year-old, who commenced her season with a momentous win over Petra Kvitova in Adelaide, is continuing to rise up the WTA rankings.
Having started the year at world number 263, Hon now sits at 173 and should jump inside the WTA top 150 when this week’s points are added.
Other ITF Results:
Alexandra Bozovic was the only Australian to win a doubles title in Cairns.
The 23-year-old teamed up with Great Britain’s Naiktha Bains to claim her third title in three events, after winning consecutive singles trophies in Darwin.
The pair fought past Aussies Destanee Aiava and Lisa Mays 6-4, 6-4 in the final – with Bozovic triumphing for the second time this season in the doubles format.
James Frawley has continued his strong doubles form, winning a third title in six weeks, in Monastir, Tunisia.
Frawley, alongside German Christoph Negritu, overcame young American star Bruno Kuzuhara and Sun Fajing 6-4, 1-6, [10-6] in the final, to claim his eighth career ITF title.
On the men’s doubles side in Cairns, Adam Walton and James McCabe reached the final but fell 6-4, 6-2 to Colin Sinclair and Kyle Seelig.
It is Walton’s fourth doubles final this year and the first of McCabe’s career.
Meanwhile, in Tunisia, 21-year-old Aussie Tom Evans came through qualifying and won five straight matches to reach his maiden ITF singles quarterfinal.
Evans then fell to seventh seed and eventual finalist Tsung-Hao Huang 7-5 5-7, 6-3 in the last eight.