FNQ tennis open champion is just warming up for next Cairns tournaments
GAVIN Van Peperzeel hopes his superb form continues in Cairns after easily accounting for Townsville's Brad Clew in last night's final of the FNQ Open.
The 20-year-old is determined to shoot up the world rankings in the next 12 months and could do so on the basis of the massive forehands he unleashed in his 6-2 6-3 win over his good mate.
Clew started promisingly, but was overpowered by the weaponry and precision of Peperzeel, who was seeing the ball like a watermelon.
The pair had earlier squared off in the men’s doubles final and met in the singles decider in Townsville, with the same result.
"It was a big day, but I’m really happy with how I’m hitting it," Peperzeel said.
"I guess I was favoured to win it, and I started well and was able to serve it out."
"I’ve been playing well lately, but it only gets tougher from now on."
The FNQ Open victor was referring to the Cairns Platinum AMT that starts today, before the Cairns International starts next week.
"The field is always tough, the top eight or so are quality. So it’s good to play nice and loosely here before we get into those ones."
Peperzeel spent time in Asia earlier this year playing tournaments and currently holds a ranking of 910 in the world.
He said he was confident he had the game to take that ranking further forward.
"This time last year I didn’t have a ranking. So I’m pretty happy with how I’m going," he said.
"I think it's just time and persistence. I’ll use my prizemoney to travel, play more tournaments and get that ranking up."
Meanwhile, Gold Coaster Elizabeth James held her composure to notch a straight sets win over Nicole Hoynaski in last night’s women’s final.
Having won the first set 6-2, James was cruising at 3-0 before Hoynaski found her groove to win the next four games.
But James, who had knocked top-seed Isabella Holland out in the semi-finals, kept her head to win the next three games and take the match 6-2 6-4.
"It was a really tough match," James said
"She (Hoynaski) made me work really hard for that one. It was a really well run tournament and a good start to the Cairns leg."
An international field will assemble for the women’s AMT and International in the next fortnight.
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Take that: FNQ Open winner Gavin Van Peperzeel shows some fine touch yesterday looking ahead to the Cairns Platinum AMT tournament and next week’s drawcard, the Cairns International. Picture: STEWART Mclean