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Haet wins title

Emoni Narawa
Monday, June 30, 2014

IT was a fairytale finish for Michaela Haet as she lifted the South Pacific Open Junior Championship girl's singles title at the Regional Tennis Centre in Lautoka on Saturday.

The unseeded Australian proved to be the giant-killer at the tournament upsetting the favourites on her way to victory.

She defeated fourth seeded Hsiang-Wen Huang 6-0, 6-4 in round two, ninth seeded Yaelle Honakoko 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in the quarter-final, number one seed Katerina Valos 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-final and third seeded Alicia Smith 6-3, 6-0 in the final.

Smith bounced back to pair Valos to win the girl's doubles title.

They defeated the combination of Kelly Drew and Honakoko following a tie-breaker. The scores were 6-3, 4-6, (10-4).

In the boy's final Anthony Jackie Tang of Hong Kong defeated Kiranpal Pannu of New Zealand in a three set thriller.

Tang lost the first set 6-7. He bounced back to win the next set easily 6-0. The third set went down to the wire with Tang hanging on to win 7-5.

Jack Heslin and Pannu beat Jack Wong and Lok Pui Lawrence 6-4, 6-1 in the boy's doubles final.

Tournament referee Patrick O'Rourke said the finals were of high standard.

O'Rourke said the number of participants should increase after this year's success.

"Jackie from Hong Kong is one of the best youngsters of his age in the whole of Asia," he said.

"Jackie just managed to outlast Kiranpal who won a tournament in New Caledonia last week.

"Michaela was sort of an unknown going into the tournament. She has a strong forehand and played excellent tennis. The killer shots were from her forehand earning her many points.

"The turnout this year was the biggest recorded. There was a big qualifying round for the boys. There were a few places in the girls draw but we expect it to be full next year because of this year's success."

The Oceania Open Junior Championship will start at the same venue today.

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