Young guns lob on to our court

By AARON KELLY

THE YOUNG guns have arrived in force at this week's US$25,000 Kia International women's challenger tournament at Rockhampton's Victoria Park.

Among yesterday's final round qualifiers was Auckland's Sacha Jones.

The 14-year-old sensation powered into the singles main draw with a 6-2, 6-4, victory against the Gold Coast's Natasha Kersten.

It was another groundbreaking performance for Jones after taking Argentina's sixth-highest ranked woman, Maria-Jose Argeri, the distance in her second round loss in Mackay last week.

Joining this year's Kia International tour for the first time, she represents the future of New Zealand tennis.

Another impressive newcomer to the challenger circuit is 15year-old junior prodigy Monique Lynch, who hails from Temora in country NSW.

Lynch overcame some early nerves to book her maiden berth in the main draw with a marathon 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, win over Dijana Srbinoska.

"This is a big experience, but I love the Rocky courts ? they really suit me,'' said Lynch, who will meet Melbourne's No.4 seed Lauren Breadmore in a tough opening round clash today.

Former Mackay player Maria Sorbello also progressed to her first main draw appearance after a hard-fought 7-5, 6-1, triumph over Japan's Kana Watanabe.

The 17-year-old, now based in Brisbane, failed in her bid to make the main draw in last week's event in Mackay.

Top seed Sophie Ferguson, coached by tennis legend Tony Roche, cruised to a commanding 6-2, 6-1, win over Thailand's Wilawan Choptang in her opening match yesterday.

Today's play starts at 10am.



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