Further Home-Turf Success for Francis

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Melody Francis continues her trend of summer titles after winning the Barossa Valley Toyota Open in Tanunda, Australia.

The 23-year-old claimed three back-to-back Australian WSA World Tour titles in June and July 2011, and won her first event of 2012 at the weekend to carry on the successful summer pattern.

Seeded first for the event, Francis received a bye through the first round, before making quick work of locals Lakeesha Rarare and Selena Shaikh on her way to the semi’s. A four-game bout with fellow Australian Institute of Sport member Sarah Cardwell saw Francis recover a deficit  after dropping the first game, but the world No37 progressed to face second seed Amanda Landers-Murphy of New Zealand in the final.

Landers-Murphy, WA Open finalist in Perth at the end of May, also received a first round bye, followed by a short 3-0 win over Nicole Stoneham. Her quarter-final match against sixth seed Megan Craig proved a tough challenge as she forced the tie to five games. Dutch third seed Milou Van Der Heijden also took a game off the New Zealand international in the semi’s but was unable to cease the momentum of the number two seed.

The world No51 stormed off to a strong lead in the final against her higher seeded opponent. With a two-game lead, the 21-year-old had the title firmly in her sights, but Francis dug deep to launch an impressive comeback. After fighting for the third game, the tables swung in the Australian’s favour as the top seed began to establish a foothold in the game. At two-all, the contest was decided in Francis’ favour with a tight 11-8 final game.

Amanda Landers-Murphy will have the opportunity to make up for her consecutive runner-up finishes as she is seeded first for the South Australian Open 2012 next week.

[1] Melody Francis (AUS) bt [2] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 (44m)

[1] Melody Francis (AUS) bt [4] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 (30m)
[2] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [3] Milou Van Der Heijden (NED) 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)

[1] Melody Francis (AUS) bt [9] Selena Shaikh (AUS) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (25m)
[4] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bt [5] Tamika Saxby (AUS) 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (30m)
[3] Milou Van Der Heijden (NED) bt [7] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) 11-9, 11-9, 11-3 (18m)
[2] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [6] Megan Craig (NZL) 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 13-11 (46m)

2nd Round:
[1] Melody Francis (AUS) bt Lakeesha Rarare (AUS) 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (16m)
[9] Selena Shaikh (AUS) bt [8] Grace Mcervale (AUS) 3-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-8 (38m)
[4] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) bt Taylor Flavel (NZL) 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (17m)
[5] Tamika Saxby (AUS) bt Alma Kushartanti (AUS) 11-2, 11-5, 11-5 (20m)
[7] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) bt [11] Eloise O’Connor (AUS) 14-12, 11-9, 11-7 (18m)
[3] Milou Van Der Heijden (NED) bt [14] Jacqueline Barnes (AUS) 11-0, 11-6, 11-2 (14m)
[6] Megan Craig (NZL) bt [10] Larissa Huffer (AUS) 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 12-10 (25m)
[2] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [13] Nicole Stoneham (AUS) 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (17m)

1st Round:
[1] Melody Francis (AUS) vs BYE
Lakeesha Rarare (AUS) bt [16] Tiffany Loss 11-6, 11-4, 11-2 (17m)
[8] Grace Mcervale (AUS) vs BYE
[9] Selena Shaikh (AUS) vs BYE
[4] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) vs BYE
Taylor Flavel (NZL) bt [12] Jasmin Burnard (AUS) 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 (18m)
[5] Tamika Saxby (AUS) vs BYE
Alma Kushartanti (AUS) bt [15] Stacey Cope (AUS) 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (17m)
[11] Eloise O’Connor (AUS) bt Heather Pilley (AUS) 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (29m)
[7] Jessica Turnbull (AUS) vs BYE
[14] Jacqueline Barnes (AUS) bt Rebecca Baum (AUS) 12-10, 13-11, 11-7 (24m)
[3] Milou Van Der Heijden (NED) vs BYE
[10] Larissa Huffer (AUS) vs Stephanie Wighton (AUS) 11-0, 11-3, 12-10 (13m)
[6] Megan Craig (NZL) vs BYE
[13] Nicole Stoneham (AUS) bt Kristen Nightingale (AUS) 13-11, 11-6, 11-9 (19m)
[2] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) vs BYE


Nicol David, Founder
Squash Stars is a social media effort designed to support women squash with the ultimate aim of promoting the sport for the Olympics.Nicol David, Founder

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