O’Connell Reaches New Heights
Chris O'Connell defeated Yosuke Watanuki 6-1, (5)6-7, 6-3 in Yokohama to win his second ATP Challenger title of the year and fourth of his career.
The 28-year-old Australian will rise to a career-high ranking of world number 84 on the ATP live rankings. With his ranking now well inside the Top 100, O’Connell can look forward to gaining automatic entry into the Australian Open for the first time in his career.
O'Connell has been in good form on the Challenger tour, making it to the quarter-finals of his past three tournaments.
O’Connell dominated the opening set, breaking the hometown hero three times to win five consecutive games to close out the set.
Watanuki fought back to level the match after claiming a hard-fought tiebreak. O'Connell managed to put the disappointment of the second set behind him to race to a 4-2 lead in the deciding set. The Australian managed to hold his nerve to serve for the match and claim an impressive victory.
O’Connell will need his good form to continue at the 2023 Australian Open where he is defending points from a career best third round appearance.
Polmans Falls Short, Success for Australia in Doubles
Marc Polmans has fallen short in his bid for a first ATP Challenger title of the year, going down to Yu Hsiou Hsu 4-6, (5)6-7 in Sydney.
Despite not winning the title, Polams would be pleased with his form after missing seven months of the season due to injury.
It is unlikely that the 25-year-old will receive a wildcard into the Australian Open main draw. Still, it is likely that Tennis Australia will grant him a wildcard into qualifying as his ranking will not be high enough to gain entry into qualifying.
In the doubles, Aussie Duo Tristan Schoolkate and Blake Ellis defeated Ajeet Rai and Yuta Shimizu 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 to claim their first ATP Challenger title and their fourth professional title together.
Aussie ITF Wrap
Destanee Aiava and Lisa Mays prevailed in a tight three-set battle over Jessy Rompies and Alexandra Osborne 5-7, 6-3, 10-6 to win their first title together at the ITF 60K NSW Open.
Petra Hule finished as runner-up in her maiden 60K final, going down to Mai Hontama 6-7(1), 6-3, 5-7. Hule rise over 200 places to a career-high ranking of number 504 in the WTA rankings.