Open winner goes on circuit

By RACHAEL BORICH ? IPSWICH'S Robert Smeets is packing his bags in a bid to break into the world's top 200 men's tennis rankings.

Smeets departs in winning form after winning the men's final at The Rock Building Society Rockhampton Open Championships which were held at Victoria Park yesterday.

The world number 370 seeded player scored a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over second seed Joe Sirianni ? a player he has now scored back-to-back wins over after also winning on clay in Melbourne three weeks ago.

"I'd never beaten him until those two occasions,'' Smeets said.

Sirianni had the Smeets serve under control in the second set and was a in a solid position trailing 4-3 in the third set before getting an unlucky line call which gave Smeets the window of opportunity.

In a fortnight Smeets will start "living out of a suitcase'' when he embarks on a fivemonth journey which will take him to Korea, India, the Netherlands and the USA.

The 19-year-old, who has played in all the junior grand slam tournaments, is aiming to reach the qualifiers for the US Open later this year.

In yesterday's women's final, former Mackay junior Maria Sorbello produced a 6-2 6-3 win over seventh seed Prue Teitzel.

The unseeded Sorbel-lo, now based in Bris-bane, said it was consistent play which helped set up the win.

Sorbello, 17, now plans to focus on junior ITF tournaments and hopefully play some satellite tournaments.



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