Career-First Win Sees Scot Lobban Gatecrash Australian Open Final
29 Oct 2022
His first win over higher-ranked Adrian Waller in six meetings in the past eight years has taken Scot Greg Lobban into an unexpected place in the men's final of the City Tattersalls Club Australian Open in Sydney.
Third seed Lobban started well against the No.2 seed, securing the first game and then resisting world No.34 Waller's comeback to win the second game 21-19. It was an epic, 34-minute-long game where Lobban had nine game balls to the Englishman's four.
Lobban then held on to the lead to close out the match in three to set up the climax against Miguel Rodriguez, the top seed from Colombia.
Rodriguez is through to the final with a clean record after another convincing performance against USA's Andrew Douglas. Rodriguez looked in control in the opening two games and wrapped up the match in straight games, despite a late resurgence by the American.
"Andrew played much better in the third game, when he changed his style a bit," Rodriguez said.
"I played his game and instead I should have picked up the pace and played faster, like I had done in the first and second game. But I am happy that I have won in three games and qualified for another final in my career. Especially here in Sydney, it's pretty special for me."
Top seed Nele Gilis will face No.2 seed Sabrina Sobhy in the women's final. World No.13 Gilis was the first on court, playing against the tournament's sixth seed Satomi Watanabe, the Japanese player who had impressed in her quarter-final win against higher-seeded Jasmine Hutton. The Japanese could not repeat the feat today and was outmatched by Gilis, but she didn't go down without a fight.
After falling two games behind and saving two match balls, Watanabe managed to win the third game 14-12 and push the match to the fourth. It was another close game, but Gilis eventually came out on top for a 3/1 win.
"I started well in the first two games, but then she started playing much better in the third and fourth game," Gilis said after the match. "She was getting better and better as the match went on. She was getting more comfortable while I was getting a bit edgy, so in a way I feel lucky and very happy that I closed it off."
In the other women's semi, Sobhy proved too strong for fellow American Olivia Clyne. Sobhy prevailed 3/0 on a hard and bouncy court that favoured her fast-paced style, heading into the final in top form and without having dropped a single game.