Krstic runner-up in AO Singles Final
Western Australia’s Kristina Krstic has come agonizingly close to winning the Australian Open Women’s Singles at Broadbeach.
She held game twice before losing 21-19 to dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rebecca Van Asch in a wonderful final.
A highlight of Krstic’s play was her first bowl as she often put Van Asch under immediate pressure, particularly when she set the length.
She also showed equal skill at the running shot, particularly in the first half of the game where she out hit one of the better runners in the women’s game. After a nervy first end a perfect runner to split to shot bowls got her going and she nailed the jack more often early in the game.
Even in the ends Van Asch won Krstic usually held shot at some point during the end from a draw bowl. Krstic eventually led 17-12 before Van Asch really started to make her move.
The Tasmanian found some added consistency and levelled the match 17-17 playing some great shots on the draw and the run.
She held three again on the next end before Krstic came up with a clutch draw shot with last bowl to arrest the slide.
The next end Krstic nailed the jack again but promptly had the shot stolen by an equally good Van Asch bowl. Coming up to the last bowl the game seemed destined to be deadlocked again, but Van Asch played a magnificent draw shot with a perfect forward flop on the jack to make three and go within one shot of victory.
Krstic responded magnificently by drawing three screamers in a row to hold game before Van Asch’s last bowl. Van Asch appeared to be playing an awkward ditch weight but turned a shot onto the jack and came through enough to reduce the count to one. Krstic had a chance to win if she could turn the jack around the corner but missed narrowly and sailed through, to pick up only a single.
The deciding end was one of the loosest of the game with Van Asch all over the place with her first three bowls. In contrast Krstic’s were very closely grouped but about a metre short of the jack.
Krstic clung to two shots to hold game for the second time with the last bowl of the end to come but had left too much room for a player like Van Asch who drew shot to win the title and continue her Commonwealth Games form. Van Asch collected the trophy and $10,000 first prize whilst Krstic takes home $5,000 as runner-up.
It was announced at the start of the final that Van Asch was 15 weeks pregnant and after the game the recent dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and now Australian Open Singles Champion was naturally on top of the world with that news saying with a beaming smile “the little girl or boy must be my lucky charm.”
Krstic and Van Asch will be teammates in the coming weeks as part of an Australian Jackaroos tour of the UK.
Visit the competition website for more information on the Australian Open