2017 Canberra International hard court champion Olivia Rogowska has added the ACT Clay Court International title to her name after the Victorian defeated Queensland’s Priscilla Hon in the final held at the Canberra Tennis Centre.
The 2017 title was earned at the same tennis centre in Canberra and Rogowska went close to defending her title in October 2018, losing the final to Zoe Hives.
In the trophy presentation speech Tennis ACT CEO Kim Kachel mentioned that Olivia asked for a WTA tour event to be held in Canberra as she loves playing here. Rogowska did live in Canberra when she was part of the Australian Institute of Sport tennis program.
In today’s final it was the no. 1 seed Hon that jumped out to an early lead. The world no. 136 almost was ahead 4-1, but Rogowska who has a career-high ranking of no. 102 broke back in the fifth game.
As the players could expect in Paris during the French Open, the weather was cool and the wind was gusty, making it difficult at times. The courts were however in great condition despite having 45 mm of rainfall on Friday night.
After Rogowska, the world no. 291 had broken Hon, she held serve to level the scores at 3-3. After 31 minutes it was the more experienced Rogowska that was getting on top in the opening set. She broke Hon to love for a 4-3 lead.
Rogowska made it four games in a row as she moved to a 5-3 lead. Hon held serve despite facing a set point at 30-40, then broke Rogowska when she was serving for the first set.
Both players held serve after the last break of serve in the 10th game. A tie-breaker would then decide the opening set of the $25k ITF World Tour event.
Rogowska immediately was up a mini-break, only to concede that on the next point. The players then went point for point until the 10th point of the breaker when Hon earned a set-point with a mini-break.
Hon failed to convert that point with Rogowska serving but then had a swing at a first serve while she still held a set point. Rogowska managed to hold on and then it was the Victorian that got a mini-break to have her first set point at 7-6.
She only needed one to close out the set. One set was in the bag at 7-6(6). A lost opportunity for Hon.
Hon was looking to get off to a good start in the first game of the second set and did just that as she earned two break points with the score at 15-40. Rogowska kept the game alive as she got back to deuce before Hon had a third break point opportunity for the opening game.
Rogowska twice got to Ad before taking the first game. After a tight first game, it was Rogowska that broke Hon to love to take an early 2-0 lead.
Hon then held three break points at 0-40 as she fought to keep in touch. Hon did get the break to see the score at 1-2 with her serve coming up.
A quick hold saw the scores level at 2-2. Rogowska opened the fifth game with a double fault. She would hold and then had Hon staring at three break points at 0-40. Hon saved one, but a well-controlled Rogowska gets another break to move closer to the title.
A love service break for Rogowska saw her ahead 5-3. Rogowska’s first championship point came at 40-15 . One point was saved but then Rogowska moved on a short ball and hit a winner and claim the ACT Clay Court International #2.
The final score was 7-6(6), 6-3 in a match that lasted one hour and 38 minutes.
The two good friends embraced at the net before Rogowska and Hon received their trophies.
It was the Victorian that served at 68% to Hon’s 58% and Rogowska was able to win 61% of first serves compared to Hon with 53%.
Rogowska earned $3,919 US and collects 50 rankings points. Hon received $2,091 and 30 rankings points. Rogowska will be ranked at around no. 261 while Hon drops two places to no. 138.
Hon will be hoping to be part of the Fed Cup squad that takes on Belarus in Brisbane on 20-21 April. Back in February, she teamed up with Australia’s current golden girl Ash Barty to win the decisive doubles rubber against the USA.