Kubler wins inaugural tennis competition

QUEENSLANDER Jason Kubler has had  a week to remember, taking out the final of the inaugural City of Playford Tennis International just hours after receiving the news he’d received a wildcard into the Australian Open.

In Sunday’s final, Kubler defeated Canadian Brayden Schnur 6-4, 6-2 on the way to becoming the first men’s singles champion at the new tournament.

The 24-year-old showed great form all week, failing to drop a single set on his way to victory.

After the final, Kubler said he “enjoyed” his time in Playford and felt the week-long tournament was a necessary stepping-stone on the path to bigger things for him in 2018.

“It’s been a great week here in Playford, I’d never been here before and I’ve really enjoyed my time at this tournament,” he said.

“Winning this tournament should really consolidate my ranking as I continue throughout 2018.

“My aim from here is to push on to other tournaments and really crack the European and US tours in the lead-up to the other three grand slams of the year, where you really want to test yourself.”

Kubler, a former world number-one junior player, will now begin preparation for the Australian Open, in Melbourne, beginning on January 15, with a hope of further climbing the rankings after a few injury-riddled years.

On the women’s side of the draw, Victorian Zoe Hives became the tournament’s first women’s champion after a gruelling two hour and 41 minute marathon match with fellow Aussie Alexandra Bozovic.

Hives, 21, took the first set 6-4 before Bozovic fought back to take a tight second set 7-5.

A tie-break was required to split the pair in the third, with Hives coming out on top 7-4 in the decider to secure victory.

“It’s been such a strong tournament and just a really great experience for me,” Hives said.

“The fact that I won it…it hasn’t, really, sunk in yet.”

Hives was full of praise for Playford Council’s new $8.9 million tennis centre, which hosted tournament players from all over the world throughout the week.

“The courts are really nice here,” she said.

“It’s always good to have a hit on some of the newer facilities and the clubhouse here is also really great. I’ve certainly played at worse venues.”

 

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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