Going into the Bendigo final Ellen Perez had in 2018 played in four ITF finals. After her match against Priscilla Hon she is still yet put her hand on the winners’ trophy. That now makes it seven finals appearances without a win since Perez won the $10,000 ITF title in Brussels back in July 2016.
Perez got off to a good start against the no. 4 seed Hon, earning an early break of serve. Hon would later hit back twice to take the first set 6-4. Perez fought back to take the second set 6-4, then the final set saw Hon claim the title with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 win. This came after Perez double-faulted on match point when serving to take the third set to a tiebreaker.
Hon was playing in her first final in 2018 and adds to her three previous ITF titles won in 2015 and 2016.
“Ellen is a great competitor, it can be so tough when you play her,” Hon said.
“She has so much power and she can hit the ball anywhere on the court, you never really know what to expect and it’s hard to build-up a rhythm against her.”
With the title, Hon jumps 29 spots in the rankings to now sit at no. 156. Perez jumps to a career-high at no. 178.
Tournament director Andy Reynolds of Tennis Victoria said the final was a display of excellent tennis.
“I know Ellen is exhausted from the doubles and playing four finals in the last few weeks, so for her to get to three sets was great,” Reynolds said.
Both players will take part in the Canberra ITF $60,000 tournament that starts on October 29.