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Australian Open: Ricketts over Price, Joyce over Owens
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New Zealand favourite Leilani Joyce went one better than last year when she beat Melbourne's Carol Owens 9-7 9-5 9-3 in the women's final.
Ricketts' success crowned a hugely successful period for the world No43 from Sydney, who ten days ago reached the semi-finals of the PSA Tour's prestigious Hong Kong Open as a qualifier. He had to work hard to overcome Melbourne's Paul Price, who has been battling a serious back injury since March this year which has sidelined him for five months.
Leilani Joyce's triumph in the women's final marked the sixth WISPA World Tour title for the world No2 since becoming British Open champion last December. The straight games win over her great rival Carol Owens, now also based in New Zealand, was also the most empathic of the three Tour finals the pair have played in just over two weeks.
Ricketts overcomes Eyles to meet Price
In the final of the women's event, being run alongside the men's for the first time for six years, Melbourne's Carol Owens will be hoping to make it an Australian double with her first win in three WISPA World Tour final meetings over the past two weeks against New Zealand's world No2 Leilani Joyce. In the men's semi-finals, Paul Price, returning to the PSA Tour after a back injury, beat 5th seed Raj Nanda 17-15 15-12 15-11, while Anthony Ricketts twice came from behind to overcome 2nd seed Rodney Eyles, the former world champion, 15-17 15-6 13-15 15-9 15-10.
World No3 Carol Owens, looking for her first Australian Open win, reached the final after being handed a walkover by Germany's third seed Sabine Schoene. In the other semi-final, Leilani Joyce, who was runner-up in 1999 after beating Owens in the last four, cruised to a 9-1 9-1 9-3 victory over fellow New Zealander Shelley Kitchen, the 4th seed.
Continued next column --->
Tour moves to Malaysia:
Starting today, SquashTalk reports on the Women's Malaysian Open. Malaysian star Nicol David is not competing due to a conflict with the national school examinations.
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