By ANDREW DENT
Evergreen South Australian Mike Corren won his 38th career title in his 100th tournament when he beat Englishman Adam Murrills 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 to take out the NT Open in Alice Springs on Sunday.
Corren, 38, used all his experience to see off the challenge of his 22-year-old opponent, who had never previously been past the quarter-finals of a tour event.
The South Australian shows no sign of slowing down as he extends his lead as the current player with the most number of career titles.
“I’m still trying to make changes and improvements to my game at 38, and I’m still enjoying it,” Corren said.
“To be honest, that’s more important than any statistics.”
The title was Corren’s first NT Open title and he now only needs to win the Queensland Open to have won all state and territory open crowns.
Corren said he had struggled with a chest infection at the start of the year but is now feeling in top form ahead of a run of nine consecutive tournaments.
“I really want to work on improving my game, which will keep me motivated and interested. It’s been going really well, I’m enjoying playing at the moment.”
While Corren was celebrating his 38th title, Dutchwoman Milou van der Heijden was elated after claiming her first with a hard fought 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7 win over unseeded South African Cheyna Tucker.
Tucker had knocked out top seed Sarah Cardwell in the semi-finals and looked on track for another big upset after winning the first game and leading 7-0 in the second.
But van der Heijden regrouped to slowly take control and clinch the match.
“I was so nervous, really nervous at the beginning,” van der Heijden said.
“When I was seven-love down in the second I was really panicking, but I got control and began to play better, and I think she got nervous because she was winning.”
Tucker is now based in the Netherlands and she and van der Heijden are good friends and occasional training partners.
“She came and stayed at my house for three months,” van der Heijden said.
“So I was happy my friend made the final against me, but I was happier that I was the one that won it.”
Van der Heijden now plays a tournament in Perth and two in South Australia before heading back to Eindhoven.
Results – prefix denotes seeding
Men’s Semi-finals: 1-Mike Corren (SA) bt 4-Matthew Serediak (CAN) 11-6, 11-6, 14-12
5-Adam Murrills (ENG) bt 2-Kam Hing Choong (MAS) 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 11-3
Final: 1-Mike Corren (SA) bt 5-Adam Murrills (ENG) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7
Women’s Semi-finals: Cheyna Tucker (RSA) bt 1-Sarah Cardwell (Vic) 11-7, 11-6, 11-3
2-Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt 3-Tamika Saxby (NSW) 12-14, 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8
2-Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt Cheyna Tucker (RSA) 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7