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The two favourites came away winners at the South Island Championships in Dunedin this weekend.
North Shore's Abbie Palmer and Canterbury's Chris van der Salm both claimed convincing wins in the Open women's and men's finals respectively. Palmers beat Otago's most successful open player, Sophie O'Connell, 11-4, 11-6 11-7 in the women's final. She delivered a classy performance and made use of her strong ball control to pin O'Connell in the back corners. O'Connell had her best period in the third game, leading 5-4 before Palmer lifted to close out the match.
Meanwhile, van der Salm defeated fellow Cantabrian Joe Williams 11-6 11-3, 11-2. Both players made use of their height and reach but it was van der Salm who controlled the side walls with his length and accuracy. He hit several volley winners alongside some clinical drop shots. The win came a week after his victory in the Canterbury Open.
It had been a good tournament for Williams as well; he had upset second seed Jackson Beresford in the semi-finals.
'Open' Men: Chris van der Salm (Canterbury) over Joseph Williams (Canterbury) 11/6 11/3 11/2
'Open' Women: Abbie Palmer (Auckland) over Sophie O'Connell (Otago University) 11/4 11/6 11/7
Men's 'A': Sam George (Otago University) over Joe Baker (Wanaka) 15/12 15/9 15/10
Men's 'B': Chris Kensington (Palmerston) over Kelvin Trainor (Pirates) 8/15 15/8 15/10/15/12
Mixed 'A': Cody Keen (Palmerston) over Josh Moore (Otago) 16/14 14/16 15/12 15/8
Mixed 'B': Bianca Malcolm (Otago) over Ken Fergusson (Palmerston) 15/11 15/8 16/14
Mixed 'C': Gracin Harrex (Taieri) over Gareth van Coller (Pirates) 6/15 3/15 15/13 15/8 20/18
Mixed 'D': Rebecca Wilson (Otago University) over Brooke Elliott (Maniototo) 20/18 15/13 15/6