Posted on October 17, 2008, 3:03pm
Top speed Melanie South won through to the semi-finals of the Mount Gambier Blue Lake Women’s International Tennis tournament today with a 6-3, 7-5 victory against Shiho Hisamatsu.
The powerful Englishwoman (pictured left in an earlier game) was too strong for her Japanese opponent in warm conditions.
South was given a scare in the second set though, when Hisamatsu broke serve to level the games at five apiece.
Down 15-40 in the next game South dug deep and clawed back to hold serve, then won the match with a decisive break.
Ranked 128 in the world, South told The Border Watch her objective is to win the tournament and keep winning on the satellite circuit to crack the main qualifying draw at the Australian Open.
“There’s a lot at stake for me,” she said.
“I’m aiming to get my ranking down to 110.”
South said conditions were warmer than she had experienced on previous visits to Mount Gambier, and she always felt confident against Hisamatsu.
“I knew if I stayed aggressive I’d take control,” she said.
South had a much stronger serve than Hisamatsu and aced her opponent several times. She also dominated rallies from the back of the court with her explosive forehand.
Hisamatsu worried the Englishwoman when she chipped it around and forced South to stretch for the ball with clever drop shots and lobs.
South was equal to the challenge and covered plenty of ground at speed to maintain control.