Tennis: Top dogs to meet in NZ final

Experience proved to be the telling factor in the men's singles semifinals at the New Zealand tennis championships in Albany today but 15-year-old Paige Hourigan continued her impressive run by knocking out the top seed and winning through to the women's final.

Top men's seeds Dan King-Turner and Artem Sitak will battle it out for the men's title after both scored straight-sets wins. King Turner beat Cameron Norrie 6-4 6-4 and Sitak overcame Sean Berman 6-3 6-2.

King-Turner was kept busy by 17-year-old Norrie, who looks a player of the future, but controlled the vital points and took advantage as Norrie started to tire due to the number of long matches he's played at the tournament.

Sitak looked in good form in dispatching Berman and will be confident of adding another title to the ones he picked up at the Auckland Champs and West End Cup.

"We're friends and know how each other plays,'' King-Turner said. "It should be a good match and it's always nice to play in front of a big crowd at home.''

The women's final will feature a player with undoubted potential in the form of the feisty Hourigan, who will take on seventh seed Imogen Golder.

Golder, the 20-year-old who attends Purdue University in Indiana, was a 7-5 6-1 winner over Australian-based Kataraina Hunia.

Hourigan spent considerably more time on court as she overcame top seed and former champion Di Hollands 3-6 6-4 6-4, despite squandering three match points in a row late in the third set.

Tomorrow's finals offer the extra incentive of a wildcard for qualifying to both the ASB Classic and Heineken Open and the New Zealand Fed Cup and Davis Cup teams will also be announced.

- APNZ

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