Kiwis Vs Aussies For Spot In Final
01/02/2002 05:42 PM Dave Worsley
New Zealanders will battle Australians for a place in the final of the US$10,000 Allfields Women's International ITF event in Wellington after two upsets saw the top seed and the second seed knocked out in the quarterfinals.
Shelley Stephens was beaten in a match she would rather forget by Adriana Szili ranked 451 places below the top seed who entered the tournament at 280 in the world. Stephens hit numerous unforced errors compared to the consistency of Szili, 17 who was too classy from the baseline and came away with a 6/1 6/0 win in just 47 minutes.
"She handled the wind better than I did. I just wasn't getting get my rhythm. She came out and didn't make any mistakes at all," said Stephens.
For Szili a top junior representative from Australia who has excelled at ITF junior events in New Zealand and Australia the win over Stephens was one of her best.
"When you beat someone in the top 300 it's fairly good victory," said Szili.
Szili will face fourth seed Tracey O'Connor who started well before fading in the second set and then finally returning to form in the third for a 6/0 2/6 6/4 victory against her doubles partner and eighth seed, Madita Suer of Germany.
With Szili in strong form from the back of the court O'Connor will have to work hard to make the final.
The other semifinal features third seed, Ilke Gers of New Zealand against Australian fifth seed Nicole Kriz. Kriz ranked 578 beat second seed Rochelle Rosenfield in easy fashion 6/2 6/3 with an attacking style which could damage Gers if the Kiwi player is not consistent.
Gers had opportunities to win her match by an easier scoreline but had to settle for a 6/4 6/4 finish after missing several easy forehands.
By KENT GRAY
Julie Scott is normally too busy to hang around the Renouf Tennis Centre on the off-chance of getting a match, but it proved a profitable decision yesterday.
The Lower Hutt mother-of-four made the most of a lucky loser entry into the main draw of the Wellington women's international by advancing to the second round of the US$10,000 (NZ$28,300) event with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Auckland teenager Ana Corbett.
Scott, who celebrates her 33rd birthday tomorrow, thought her chances of playing at the International Tennis Federation tournament were gone when she was beaten by Australian Danya Ivanov in qualifying on Monday.
She turned up yesterday - with three-year-old twin daughters Katrin and Lauren in tow - after learning that Romanian Diana Gherghi might not show and got her lucky break - and at least a $280 pay day - after a four-hour wait.
Corbett could not believe her misfortune - she had lost to Scott in qualifying the previous year.
Scott doubts that she will survive her second round match against Australian junior Adriana Szili today, but is just pleased to have made it this far. She lost in the first round to Otago teenager Diana Hollands last year.
"I thought I might as well turn up and I got a lucky draw as well . . . it's ended up great," Scott said.
Meanwhile, Kiwi No 1 and top seed Shelley Stephens was the only seed to be pushed to three sets yesterday before advancing to the second round.
She meets Japan's Hiromi Okazaki today after beating Donna McIntyre 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 yesterday, five days after ousting the Australian in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Wellington Open. Second seed Rochelle Rosenfield will meet fellow Australian Cassandra Barr after breezing past Chinese Taipei's Chin-Wei Chan 6-1, 6-2.
I had a little debate with some of the board a while back, over Dubravka Cupac and Adriana Szili.
They said Cupac was better, I said Szili.
Adriana is a very aggresive baseliner, who hits the heck out of the ball. She really goes searching for the angles and plays very smart. She has a developing net game and I think she could definitely be a top 100-50 player.
She's also very tough mentally and very confident.
Congrats girl! As soon as I saw the draw, I knew who the winner was (No disrespect intended BTW)
This has been a very impressive week by Adriana...hardly lost a game! I cant wait to see how she performs in the Aussie challengers later this month cos she performs well against fellow Aussies! This was only a $10K and she wont get many points at all, so we'll see how her game stacks up against tougher opposition.
I believe, along with Sam Stosur and Christina Wheeler, Adriana is one of our finest teenage prospects.
I agree with Ausboy though, she doesnt hit with all that much power yet, but yes, she does heat a clean ball and as she gets older will get more pace. But as roshan said, she is aggressive and that is good to see. At the moment she is playing like someone ranked 200-300, but isnt in the league of the top 200 yet....but definately soon I hope!
Unseeded Australian Adriana Szili won the US$10,000 ITF Wellington Women's International dropping just 10 games on her way to her first ever senior title proving to be too strong for Kiwi Federation Cup player Ilke Gers.
Szili, 17 beat the 403rd ranked Kiwi 6/2 6/2, making a mockery of the seedings in the tournament and showing how much potential she has. The Australian Institute of Sport trainee was too good from the baseline and played smart tennis not letting Gers into the match.
Gers had a number of chances to break serve and hold her own serve during the match but vital shots eluded her as she hit unforced errors when consistency was required.
The win will see Szili's ranking boosted significantly from its current position of 691. It is expected that she will be placed as high as 550 when rankings are released on Tuesday.
"The score does not sound like it, but it could have gone either way, it really could have. It was a tough match," said Szili who beat the number one, four and three seeds on the way to her victory.
Gers loss was the third in succession by a Kiwi in the final and the fourth overall in the tournaments five year history. However Gers will see here ranking improve from 403 to around her career high of 384 when the result is added to her ranking.
Although disappointed the 20 year old Aucklander felt that the result was still a reasonable way to start the year and gave her an incentive to make more finals. She felt that Szili was too good on the day, but still has some weaknesses she should have played too.
"She (Szili) is a smart player and does not make many mistakes. Her second serve is a weakness but I didn't make the most of it. I am disappointed with how I played, " said Gers.
The match was played in fine conditions after the wind of the previous day.
In the doubles final fourth seeds Chin-Wei Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang of Taipei beat Australian second seeds Nicole Kriz and Sarah Stone in three sets. The Australians started the game in quick fashion winning the first set 6/4 after staging and early lead before Stone became frustrated with her play hitting unforced errors and turning the crowd against her.
The second set was won in a tiebreak by the Taipei pairing 7-3 with the third set an easy 6/2 scoreline to Chan and Chuang.
********Looks like Psycho Sarah was showing her true form turning the crowd against her with her tantrums and screaming LOL! Well Done Adriana, like Iva's#1Fan said, the upcoming 10K events are going to be very interesting for Szili and her ranking! You never know, Sarah also might get her head together in singles!
well, glad Ilke won more games than Shelley or Tracey did! too bad she couldn't win here, but Adriana seemed just too good this week and definetly deserved the title after such convincing wins to make it into the final