makes it a hat-trick at the Victorian Open
Melody Francis continued to show why she is player to watch on the WISPA
tour, by lifting her third title in a row at the Tour 4 Victorian Open this
The 22 year old, playing in her home city of Melbourne, had the pressure of
being the top seed and having a host of international players trying to stop
her, but she stayed strong, even when she was pushed to the brink.
The week started with a stunning upset when Korea's Ahn Eun Chan beat number
two seed Samantha Cornett in the second round. The win was not too
surprising considering Chan's recent run of good form, including picking up
her maiden title at the City of Perth Open, defeating Francis and Lisa
Camilleri. The rest of the seeds moved through to the quarter finals without
too many problems.
Francis was the only Aussie to make the semi final, being joined by Wales'
Deon Saffrey, Liu Tsz-Ling from Hong Kong and Chan. Francis and Chan both
scored comfortable wins, whilst Saffrey put on a master class to dispose of
third seed Sarah Cardwell. Ling won the all Hong Kong battle in her quarter
final, the nineteen year old managed to fend off a comeback from her more
experienced compatriot and come through in four games.
The crowd at the Victorian Open were treated to two tremendous semi finals,
both going the full distance. Ling was looking for her first tour final
appearance and after a nervy start managed to peg Chan back to two all. Chan
though wasn't to be denied and she closed an extremely tight decider 11-9 to
move into her second tour final. The other semi saw Francis pushed to the
limit by Saffrey. The Welsh number one moved ahead two games to one and the
crowd feared that their girl could be on her way out. Francis though had
other ideas and the hard work she put in during her off season showed as she
ground out an energy sapping five game win in over an hour's play.
With Chan's victory over Francis in Perth, many were expecting the final to
be closely contested. However Chan's semi final appeared to have drained her
and Francis took advantage of this to race away to a comfortable straight
Francis is only the second player this year to win three tournaments in a
row, along with Lauren Briggs, a feat Nicol David hasn't even achieved yet!
The world number 44, now has a week off before she travels up to play in the
Queensland Open, where she will be the red hot favourite for the title and
she will look to continue her 13 match winning streak.