Cottrell eyes Open repeat
WORLD No.3 Kelsey Cottrell will launch an audacious bid for back-to-back Australian Open crowns when she commences her title defence in Victoria today.
The 19-year-old, who willed herself to glory last year after fighting her way through three successive tie-breakers, will have to defy history to become the first female to successively retain the Southern Hemisphere’s most sought after title.
Having recently relocated to Sydney from South Tweed, the teenage superstar, who will be chasing her fourth title on the Bowls Australia grand prix circuit, will have to overcome a white-hot field that includes the planet’s top-five ranked female players.
Despite the road blocks, Cottrell is looking forward to the challenge, knowing all too well that another successful campaign in Shepparton will all but rubber stamp her boarding ticket to the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, Tweed Heads’ Lyn Cuthbertson has denied world No.1 Val Smith a berth in the main draw of the women’s singles.
The reigning world champion failed to progress through to today’s opening round, beaten by Cuthbertson in the qualifying rounds.
A multi-discipline tournament, the Australian Open features singles, pairs and triples for both men and women, with the competition running until Saturday at the Shepparton Park and Mooroopna clubs.