Francis on a roll in South Australia
It was only a
month ago that Melody Francis was stunned in the 1st round of
the Black Knight Open in Perth at the hands of Korea's eventual champion
Ahn Eun Chan.
Since then it
seems that Francis has found her best form. With victory this week at
the South Australian Open she has now won 13 of her last 14 matches.
To capture her
third title of the year though Francis didn't have things all her own
way at the tour 4 event in Adelaide. For a second week in a row she took
out Scotland's Lisa Aitken in the quarter finals, though this time
Francis managed to subdue the Scottish number one in straight games as
opposed to the fiver setter of last week.
In the semi final
Francis came from behind to ease to victory over second seed Siti
Munirah Jusoh of Malaysia. After Jusoh edged a long and close opening
game, her energy seemed to fade. This may have been due to the second
seed's titantic battle over Samantha Davies in the quarter finals.
Francis seized her opportunity and gradually ran away with victory to
reach her third final in a row.
On the opposite
side of the draw, two players in top form set up a repeat semi final
showdown from last week.
Tesni Evans was
getting better with each tournament, having reached a quarter final, a
semi final and then her first tour final last week at the Millicent
Landers-Murphy has had an equally successful last few weeks on the
Australian tour. The 20 year old Kiwi has recorded three semi final
finishes in a row. This week she made it four in a row when she stunned
top seed and compatriot Kylie Lindsey in four games in the quarter
Evans reached her
first tour final last week with victory over Landers-Murphy in the semi
final. This time the tables were turned and Landers-Murphy secured
victory with a solid four game win and a place in her first WISPA tour
The final was a
high class match and Landers-Murphy proved that she was there to win
when she eased to the opening game 11-5. Francis though has shown in the
last few tournaments how much of an improvement to her game she has made
since last year. She stormed back to take the second and third games.
The fourth was tight all the way into the tie break. Francis' greater
experience saw her edge it 15-13 and claim the third title of her
“I have been
working so hard and now I'm starting to see the results,” a delighted
She now ties with
Lisa Camilleri and Lauren Briggs for the most titles in 2011.
Francis now heads
home to Melbourne for the Victorian Open, which begins on July 10,
followed by the Tasmanian, Queensland and NSW Opens, leading into the
Australian Open in August.
On this form, her
title haul could very well increase.
 M Francis (AUS) bt  A Landers-Murphy (NZL) 5-11 11-9 11-5
 A Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt  T Evans (WAL) 11-5 12-14 11-5 11-6
 M Francis (AUS) bt  S Munirah Jusoh (MAS) 11-13 11-7 11-3
 A Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt  K Lindsey (NZL) 14-16 11-3 11-9
 T Evans (WAL) bt  M Marshall (AUS) 9-11 11-9 11-6 11-6 (32m)
 M Francis (AUS) bt  L Aitken (SCO) 11-8 11-6 12-10 (27m)
 S Munirah Jusoh (MAS) bt  S Davies (AUS) 7-11 8-11 12-10
13-11 11-6 (59m)
 K Lindsey (NZL) bt V Pickard (AUS) 6-11 11-6 11-9 11-6 (33m)
 A Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt C Nunn (AUS) 11-5 11-8 11-6 (29m)
 M Marshall (AUS) bt S J Cope (AUS) 11-3 11-2 11-2 (14m)
 T Evans (WAL) bt  S Cardwell (AUS) 12-10 3-11 11-7 11-13
 M Francis (AUS) bt J Brown (AUS) 11-2 11-1 11-4 (14m)
 L Aitken (SCO) bt J Burnard (AUS) 11-0 11-1 11-1 (11m)
 S Davies (AUS) bt P Devi (MAS) 9-11 11-9 11-9 11-9 (29m)
 S Munirah Jusoh (MAS) bt A Kushartani (AUS) 11-9 11-9 11-4 (21m)