Atu wins two at the Open
Indonesian star, Atu Rosalina Sagita, added a touch of oriental magic to win two titles at the Ashaway Norfolk Open Championships played at the UEA Sportspark over the weekend.
Her main rival in the womens singles, England international, Rebecca Pantaney, was a late withdrawal from the championships with a heavy cold, leaving Atu to face Caroline Westley (Essex) in the final, which contained many long and competitive rallies. But Rosalina was always in control and won her first Norfolk title 21-12, 21-14
In the mixed doubles, Atu teamed up with fellow Indonesian, Handel Suryaputra (Warwicks) to reach the final by beating second seeds, John Hepworth (Hants) and Tony Sturgeon (Suffolk) 21-12,21-12 in the first semi. In the other semi, top seeds,James White (Leics) and Norfolks Katherine Cooper beat Alex Wyett and Michelle Lewin 21-8,21-13. The final produced an excellent match with the top seeds taking the first set 21-16, only for Suryaputra and Rosalina to fight back to win the next two 21-15,21-15, giving Atu her second title of the day.
Norfolks finest hour came in the mens events when top dog, Ian Murphy, won his first Norfolk Open singles title and came very close to retaining the mens doubles with his partner Grahame Wells. In the singles, top seed, Suryaputra, reached the final by beating Simon White (Leics) in the semis, whilst Murphy, seeded two, overcame Darren Kerins (Beds).The final was a classic with Suryaputra controlling the first set with tight net play to win 21-12. But Murphy tightened up his game in the second and worried the Indonesian by increasing the tempo of the match to win 21-17. In the third set Murphys fitness, strength and speed about the court proved too much for his tiring opponent, giving him the set 21-12 and the winners trophy.
The mens doubles event produced a super spectacle for the many appreciative spectators, with many close and exciting matches. Top seeds and title holders, Murphy and Wells reached the final with a superb victory over James and Simon White 21-18, 20.22, 21-18, whilst unseeded Colin Dow and William Hilton-Jackson (Sussex) beat second seeds, Darren Kerins and Andrew Norris (Beds) 21-16, 21-14. The final was a thriller, with many long rallies, tight serving and hard hitting, attacking play and the lead constantly moving from one pair to the other. In the end, it was Dow and Hilton-Jackson who came out on top 22-20, 21-18, but all four players gave the spectators a match to remember.
The early rounds of the womens doubles were, in comparison, somewhat more genteel, but Norfolks Michelle Lewin and Helen Newstead gave top seeds, Katherine Cooper and Toni Sturgeon a good run for their money in the final, before going down 21-11, 21-18.