4:38 am
24 Jun 2024

Favourites Boswell & Kitchen Win Australian Open Titles

8 Jul 2007

Top seeds Stewart Boswell and Shelley Kitchen won the titles in the Clare Valley Australian Open after contrasting triumphs in today's finals at the Valleys Lifestyle Centre in Clare, South Australia.

World number 12 Boswell successfully defended his title when he fought off a comeback by fellow Australian Cameron Pilley to win 11-4, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11, 11-6 in 82 minutes.

Boswell, who also won the title in 2002, seemed to be heading for an easy win when he took the first two games and built up a lead early in the third - before world number 22 Pilley launched a remarkable fight back to take the game.

The top seeded Boswell led early in the fourth but Pilley again stormed back to send the final into a decider. Once again Boswell got an early break and this time he was able to hold onto the lead and take the title.

"I was expecting Cameron to get into it at some stage," Boswell said of Pilley's fight back. "In the third game he outplayed me then I had a good lead in the fourth and I somehow managed to lose the game and then it was anybody's match.

"I'm happy with how I played in patches. I got a few points ahead in the fifth, which helps you when you're struggling, and I just managed to sneak through."

Pilley rued a lost opportunity to win an Australian Open which was missing world No3 David Palmer and the injured Anthony Ricketts, Australia's number two.

"I needed to stick to what I was doing in the third and fourth, I just tightened up," said the 24-year-old from New South Wales. "In the fifth, he just started so well. You've got to try and stick with Stewart for the first half of the game or else he's just going to run a way with it and it's all over before you know it."

The win takes Boswell's career PSA Tour title total to 17, which moves the former world No4 ahead of Egypt's world No1 Amr Shabana in the list of PSA title winners. Of current players in the list, , Boswell is now in third place, behind compatriot David Palmer (20) and Frenchman Thierry Lincou (18).

New Zealand's Shelley Kitchen justified her top seeding in the women's WISPA World Tour event when she beat Australia's defending champion Kasey Brown in straight games - the world number 13 from Auckland overcoming the second seed 9-4, 9-7, 9-4 in 56 minutes.

Kitchen always looked in control of the match and despite Brown throwing everything at her, the tall New Zealander never lost the initiative from the moment she raced to a 7-0 lead in the opening game.

She said winning the long and closely contested second game had proved decisive. "I think I played today the way she played three weeks ago when she beat me," said Kitchen, referring to her defeat in the final of the Central Open in New Zealand.

"We're very close and she's come up the rankings so quickly over the past year. I started off well and she didn't find her way as quickly as I did on the court. I played on that court at the Commonwealth Games many times and I did really well on it there (winning a Bronze Medal)."

Kitchen, along with the nine other New Zealand players at the tournament, received an official good luck message from their Prime Minister Helen Clark before the Australian Open began.

"It's good to see her showing that sort of interest," Kitchen said.

Men's final:
[1] Stewart Boswell (AUS) bt [2] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 11-4, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11, 11-6 (82m)

Women's final:
[1] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt [2] Kasey Brown (AUS) 9-4, 9-7, 9-4 (56m)