Brad Mousley to contest Launceston International singles and doubles in same afternoon

FINE TOUCH: South Australian Brad Mousley comes to the net during his tough singles semi-final win over top-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers on Saturday at the Launceston International. Pictures: Scott Gelston
FINE TOUCH: South Australian Brad Mousley comes to the net during his tough singles semi-final win over top-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers on Saturday at the Launceston International. Pictures: Scott Gelston

An evening downpour has consigned South Australian Brad Mousley to face back-to-back finals hours apart on Sunday to claim Launceston International titles.

Mousley was pairing up with Alex Bolt in the men’s doubles final at 3-3 against Americans Sekou Bangoura and Nathan Pasha when rain set in for the rest of Saturday.

Play was officially abandoned shortly before 7pm with the tournament referee deciding the match is set to resume after Mousley’s men’s final against Marc Polmans.

The unseeded 22-year-old earlier stunned top-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers in a courageous 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 semi-final upset.

“It’s just great,” a relieved Mousley said in one of his greatest tour wins.

SO CLOSE: A determined Spaniard Marcel Granollers lunges for the ball.

SO CLOSE: A determined Spaniard Marcel Granollers lunges for the ball.

“Marcel’s obviously a very good player still. He’s actually beaten me in the last two weeks in doubles.

“So it was good to get a win back on him, finally. Third time lucky, I guess.

“It was a good match. I just had to keep my composure and I got there in the end.”

Mousley fought back from a break down in the final set to take the match against the former world No.19 in two hours and 14 minutes.

Granollers converted only three from 12 break-point opportunities, whereas a cool Mousley recorded the same number from just six.

But the Adelaide serve-and-volley beast had his own assessment in a tight 7-5 final game of the deciding set.

“I had missed a few volleys in the tie-breaks, actually,” Mousley said. “But I knew I had to keep going forward and keep playing the way I want to play to win.

“I certainly served well all week and, here today, I probably hit the ball the best off the ground I have all week.”

He will next take on South African-born Polmans, who flew out of the blocks to outplay wildcard Andrew Harris 6-1, 6-4 in an all-Melburnian semi-final in Launceston.

The underrated drop shot-and-lob game of Polmans came to the fore ahead of what will be his first Launceston final in three attempts.

HARD BATTLE: Russian Irina Khromacheva looks to return serve.

HARD BATTLE: Russian Irina Khromacheva looks to return serve.

Unseeded Brit Gabriella Taylor has advanced into the women’s singles final. 

The Southampton 19-year-old is yet to drop a set after beating Zoe Hives 7-5, 6-1.

“It’s been a good week and it’s been tough, I mean especially today,” Taylor said.

“The conditions with the wind being so breezy. But I am really happy and I am just looking forward to the final.”

The 19-game match saw no few than seven service breaks, as a taped-up Hives, from Ballarat, failed to score a point on her last serve.

PACKING A PUNCH: Asia Muhammad hits a winner in her convincing straight-sets victory over Irina Khromacheva.

PACKING A PUNCH: Asia Muhammad hits a winner in her convincing straight-sets victory over Irina Khromacheva.

But Taylor expects her biggest challenge to be the fourth-seeded American Asia Muhammad on Sunday.

Russian Irina Khromacheva retired in their semi due to illness after trailing 7-5, 3-0.

“I watched a little bit of [Asia’s] match before and obviously it’s not going to be an easy match,” Taylor said.

“She’s such a great player.

“What I’ve got to do is just focus on my game.”