Horley claims 3rd open title; singles win for Hartono

Thomas Hartono volleys the ball, watched by his doubles partner and brother Peter Hartono, at the...
Thomas Hartono volleys the ball, watched by his doubles partner and brother Peter Hartono, at the Otago Indoor Open at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Ayesha Horley claimed her third consecutive Otago Open title and Peter Hartono his first in the singles events played at the Otago Open at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin over the weekend.

Horley extended her string of titles with a come-from-behind win over North Otago’s Mackenzie Phillips, an opponent who had had the better of Horley in their three previous meetings.

In the first set of the final, early nerves meant both players were tentative on serve and seemed more comfortable receiving.

Phillips managed to hold on to an early advantage.

She served for the set at 5-4 and three good first serves clinched the first set for her.

Horley then upped the ante and claimed the second set 6-3.

In the deciding set, Horley had double break point to go up 4-1.

Phillips saved both break points and went on to hold to reduce the deficit to one game.

A Horley double fault then gave the next game to Phillips, who then held serve to lead 4-3.

The scales were tipping in favour of Phillips.

Games went with serve until 5-5, when Horley capitalised on some of Phillips’ errors on serve.

Serving for the title, Horley double-faulted at 40-15, but she made no mistake in the next point to seal the win.

On the road to the men’s singles final, Peter Hartono’s sternest test was his first-round encounter with youngest brother Marco, in which he edged the contest 7-5, 7-6.

On the other side of the draw, second seed Ryan Eggers lost a topsy-turvy three-set battle with third seed Alex Calder.

The final began with Hartono benefiting from Calder’s errors. Hartono used his mobility to lure Calder into pressing too hard while attempting to exploit the open court space Hartono showed him.

Hartono took the first set comfortably 6-1.

Hartono consolidated an early break in the second set to lead 2-0.

His depth of shot started taking a toll, leaving Calder to make things happen from behind the baseline.

Calder fought well but could only salvage one game in the second set.

Hartono’s win carried on the family dynasty, after younger brother Thomas had his name etched on the trophy for the past two seasons.

Belinda Hirst partnered Angela Fitzgerald to the women’s doubles title, recording a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Pippa Sheriff and Halle Faherty.

In the men’s doubles final, Marshall Hore and Jack Warner had chances to take the first set against Peter and Thomas Hartono but were left to rue errors in key points.

A regulation volley miss on set point in particular opened the door for the Hartono brothers to seal the opening set 7-5.

The Hartonos played with more authority in a 6-0 second set.

 - Fraser Richardson

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