WINNING STYLE: Tamika Saxby plays a backhand during the final of the Australian Closed Championships in Townsville against Lisa Camilleri.
WINNING STYLE: Tamika Saxby plays a backhand during the final of the Australian Closed Championships in Townsville against Lisa Camilleri. T Van Der Kreek

Tamika's winning run continues

COFFS Harbour champion Tamika Saxby has continued her rise with a sterling performance at the Australian Closed Championships in Townsville.

Saxby quickly settled in the opening game of the final with better placements and forcing her opponent to the corners.

She gained the upper hand taking the ball early, proving too quick and powerful for challenger Lisa Camilleri who put up some tough resistance but found Saxby's pace hard to counter or control in the opening exchanges.

In the second game, Saxby used her opportunities seizing on any loose balls which were quickly despatched deep into the back court leaving Camilleri stranded or with precision drops to the front corners to take a 2-0 lead.

All the pressure was on Camilleri to get back into the match but the Coffs girl wasn't giving anything away, wrapping up the final in straight games 11-7 11-8 11-9 to claim her first Australian Closed title.

"I felt I played well early and knew I had to keep the tempo up. My volleys worked,” Saxby said.

"Thanks everyone for your support, it helps a lot.”

In the open men's section, young local up and comer Jacob Ford gained plenty of experience against number one seed and eventual tournament winner Zac Alexander in the opening round.

Ford fought hard and caught the champion on a number of occasions but found Alexander's front court ball work difficult to read and counter finding himself all too often in a retrieval position.

Ford went down 5-11 4-11 5-11 but was pleased with his performance.

His second match proved another tough struggle but gained the ascendancy in the fourth game to run out the winner setting up a chance to finish in the 9-12 group. Ford defeated Ben Courtice his third match to reach a playoff for 9-10 position against Nick Calvert which the Queenslander won in three tight games.

It was a good introduction to the top level for Ford and he will benefit from the experience as he prepares for the Oceania Junior Open in Auckland.



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