Australian Sacha Jones on the verge of victory

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 23/12/2013

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Sacha Jones may now be an Australian, but she is on the verge of winning the New Zealand Tennis Championships in Auckland.

The 23-year-old Jones controversially switched allegiances to Australia last year, thanks to her father, Mel, being born on the other side of the Tasman.

She has spent the past two seasons being able to use the resources of Tennis Australia, but injuries have meant that she hasn't been able to advance her career much further than when she played under a New Zealand flag and her current ranking is 287 in the world.

Despite now officially being an Australian player, she is still eligible to play in the New Zealand championships and yesterday beat Emma Hayman, the New Zealand No 3, 6-2 6-0 in Albany to set up a match against Dianne Hollands in tonight's final.

Hollands has a ranking of 681 so will be up against it against Jones and there will certainly be a sense of irony around her being crowned the New Zealand champion if she wins.

Marina Erakovic didn't play in this year's tournament and rarely does. She is currently in America finishing off her preparations for the new season.

In the men's tournament the top two seeds have made it to the final. Kiwi No 1 Rubin Statham had his match against Wesley Whitehouse cut short, with his opponent having to pull out injured during the first set tiebreak.

In the other semifinal Artem Sitak defeated Sean Berman 6-2 7-5.

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- Fairfax Media

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