Blue-ribbon men’s singles field taking shape
The $225,000 Australian Open’s blue-ribbon men’s singles field is starting to take shape, with 180 of 207 sections now decided after two days of play across 10 Gold Coast clubs.
Australia’s three-time World Cup Champion, Irish born Jeremy Henry was in crushing form today at Club Helensvale, advancing to Monday’s knockout stages in the coveted men’s singles.
Henry’s trophy cabinet is extensive; however an Australian Open title eludes the former Northern Irish International who today made his presence felt at the $225,000 event with an unblemished record from his three sectional rubbers.
Defending singles champion Nathan Wilson began his title defence in style also going through the day undefeated with wins over Patrick Campbell 21-13, Phil Spears 21-14 and Marco Crupi 21-5.
Aaron Wilson, brother to Nathan and a Australian Open singles champion in his own right, had a less convincing day at Gold Coast Lawn dropping his first match 17-21 against Rick Southam; however the Blundstone Melbourne Roys recruit kept his hopes alive by topping his section with two wins to progress to the knockout rounds.
In an upset at Musgrave Hill, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kelvin Kerkow bowed out of the coveted singles event after a defeat at the hands of Warilla young gun Jesse Noronha.
Noronha, a rising star of the sport and member of the NSW NTC squad, will be hoping this year’s Australian Open is his break-through event; and defeating the National Selector will go a long in ensuring his talent doesn’t go unnoticed.
St Johns Park’s Ben Twist was another big name player to advance from day two of sectional play at Broadbeach Bowling Club; however Australian Jackaroo Wayne Ruediger will have a nervous wait to see whether his six points plus 14 shots will be enough to secure further passage, after he suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Gold Coast stalwart Steve Halmai.
South Australian team mate Scott Thulborn bounced back from a second round defeat and is likely to progress to the knockout stages as one of 49 lucky losers with two wins plus 30.
Former Australian National Coach Cameron Curtis is practicing what he once preached, after advancing to the knockout stages with three convincing victories today at Broadbeach.
After being bridesmaid in six Australian Open finals, former Australian Vice-Captain Wayne Turley will be looking for redemption at this year’s event.
The relocation to the Gold Coast may play nicely into Turley’s hands, after his singles campaign commenced in style at Tugun Bowling Club keeping the hopes of a maiden Australian Open title alive in the coveted men’s singles.
Gold Coast prodigy Nathan Rice has tasted success at an Australian Open in the pairs alongside the current World Singles Champion Leif Selby; however in 2013 Helensvale club mate Mark Casey prevented Rice from a second Australian Open title when he was victorious over him in the singles final.
The current Australian Jackaroo went through day two unscathed, posting three convincing wins at Paradise Point.
The remaining men’s singles sections will be decided tomorrow, with the women commencing their singles campaigns, before the event turns to the team disciplines’ sectional rounds.