Dellacqua into AO Play-off final
Casey Dellacqua has overcome a slow start to outlast Victorian Sally Peers in the semifinals of the AO Play-off.
Dellacqua will face top seed Olivia Rogowska in tomorrow’s final, with the 18 year old sweeping to a 6-2 6-2 victory over Jessica Moore earlier in the day.
Peers got off to a flyer in the first set, opening up a 5-0 lead before Dellacqua could even get on the board. The West Australian may as well have saved her energy as Peers took the opening set 6-2 and looked intent on making the match a quick one.
After the match, Dellacqua admitted that it took her a little while to get going.
“I definitely didn’t play my best in that first set, but once I got my head together and got my serve going and got my forehand cracking I felt pretty good out there,” she said.
In the second set it was Dellacqua’s turn to get off to a quick start as she built a 3-0 lead before Peers broke her in the fourth game to get on the board.
Frustration gave way to elation as Dellacqua broke straight back to take a decisive 4-1 advantage.
By this stage the damage had been done and Dellacqua had found her range as she used her heavy ground strokes to push her opponent off the court.
Dellacqua held to love and then broke Peers again to take the set 6-1 and square the ledger at one set apiece.
In the final set, Dellacqua maintained her control as she dismantled Peers and secured her place in the final by taking the third set 6-2.
A feature of Dellacqua’s play this week has been the return of her powerful ground strokes, which her game is built around. This return to form indicates that her recovery from a shoulder reconstruction earlier in the year is on track.
“Shoulder’s great and it’s going good and it’s been the other thing this week, trying to get as many matches as I can and trying to finish the week injury free. I’ve done that so far and done the right things with recovery and so far the body is holding up.”
Her body will need to hold up for one more game with the final being played at Melbourne Park tomorrow. Dellacqua and Rogowska met in the group stage earlier this week, with Dellacqua coming away the winner.
“I had a great win against her earlier in the week when I was feeling fresh and she’s had a bit more tennis throughout the week to get her game in order a little bit.
“Tomorrow the best person on the day is going to win and I’ll be going out there trying to beat her and she’ll be trying to beat me. Whoever wins it will be a great game, I am sure.”
The men’s second semi between Bernard Tomic and Kaden Hensel is now being played after Nick Lindahl defeated John Millman 6-7(2) 6-3 7-6(3).