Eri Hozumi wins the ACT Claycourt International against Destanee Aiava

Japan tennis player Eri Hozumi wishes all tournaments could be held in Canberra as she claimed her third title in the ACT Claycourt International on Sunday.

And 15-year-old Destanee Aiava is hoping to go one better at the Canberra Tennis Centre this week after she went down in a gripping final.

Eri Hozumi won the ACT Claycourt International despite having a sore throat.
Eri Hozumi won the ACT Claycourt International despite having a sore throat. Photo: Graham Tidy

It took a tiebreak to decide the title, with Hozumi prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 over her younger rival.

Tennis player-cum-cricketer-cum-tennis player Ashleigh Barty continued her successful return to tennis, combining with Arina Rodionova to win the doubles final 6-4, 6-2 against second-seeds Kanae Hisami and Varatchaya Wongteanchai.

​Hozumi was runner-up in the $50,000 Canberra International in November and has gone one better in the ACT Claycourt.

But she didn't have it all her own way, with the 22-year-old having to battle for about 2½ hours to beat Aiava.


Hozumi hasn't had much experience on clay, with the French Open the main place she's encountered the surface before.

"I'm very happy, I didn't think that I could get such a good result on clay so I'm very, very happy," she said. "I love Canberra, Canberra is a good match [for me. I'd like all tournaments to be here] if possible.

Destanee Aiava, 15, came close to winning her first ITF title.
Destanee Aiava, 15, came close to winning her first ITF title. Photo: Graham Tidy

"I will try to focus on the new tournament. I will celebrate today, and then tomorrow I'm going to focus. I haven't had much experience on clay except for the French Open, so I wasn't really expecting this result."

Canberra will host a second $25,000 International Tennis Federation women's tournament this week.

Having come through qualifying to make the final in the first ACT Claycourt International, Aiava has been given a wildcard straight into the main draw as a reward for making the final of the first edition.

The St Francis Xavier College year 10 student hopes one day she'll be playing in finals around the world.

Her mother is from American Samoa and her father from New Zealand, while Aiava was born in Melbourne.

"I'm really happy with my efforts this week and I'm just trying to repeat it for the next tournament as well," she said.

Barty will again team up with Rodionova in this week's doubles, but she won't be playing singles.

The 19-year-old took time out of the game this summer to play for the Brisbane Heat in the inaugural Women's Big Bash League.