Grinham & Grayson clinch Victorian Open crowns

Victorian Open 2013, Finals: [1] Campbell Grayson (Nzl) 3-0 [8] Steve Finitsis (Aus) 11/7, 11/6, 11/9 (53m)[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus) 3-0 [6] Megan Craig (Nzl) 11/8, 12/10, 11/2 (25m)

SH_037Queensland’s Rachael Grinham claimed her first ever Victorian Open title when she downed New Zealander Megan Craig in straight games at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) on Sunday.

The seventh seeded Craig fought hard in the first two games before Grinham ran away with the third to win 11-8, 12-10, 11-2 and claim her 32nd title on the WSA tour.

There was some joy for New Zealand in the men’s draw when Campbell Grayson beat Innisfail’s Steve Finitsis 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 to successfully defend his title from last year.

It was a triumphant return to the all-glass court at MSAC for Grinham, who won the women’s doubles and took silver in the women’s singles at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The 36-year-old is still in great shape and said she was now targeting the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“I feel good and I’m playing well at the moment, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the year,” she said after her win. “At the moment it’s just a case of me looking after my body – if I can move, I will play okay. I’m trying to look after myself and am aiming to be there at the Commonwealth Games.”

Grinham’s next outing will be as part of the Australian team at the World Games in Cali, Colombia, which begin on July 25.

Grayson was always in control of the men’s against Finitsis, who had two huge matches on the way to the decider and looked sluggish at times against the Kiwi number one. Top seeded Grayson eased away with the first two games then held off a fast finishing Finitsis to clinch the third and win the seventh title of his career and his second of the year.

“The first two games were even at the beginning but I managed to pull away in the middle, but he’s a real fighter and I got a bit nervous when he started coming back at me,” Grayson said. “I managed to sneak that third game in the end.”

Finitsis has now lost two finals in two weeks, but he gets a chance to make amends at next week’s Tasmanian Open, where he is seeded third behind Adelaide’s Mike Corren and Malaysian Ivan Yuen.

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