Canadians break through for maiden World Tour title at second attempt

Shepparton, Australia, March 5, 2017 - A Canadian pair playing in just their second major event together have won gold at the World Tour event in Shepparton, Australia, as Julie Gordon and Camille Saxton proved too strong for Germany's Kim Behrens and Anni Schumacher, taking the final 2-0 (21-17, 21-14).

The Canadians were very much the form team of the weekend, cruising through their two Saturday fixtures without dropping a set, and then following up with a comprehensive straight-sets semifinal win over Germany's Leonie Kortzinger and Sandra Seyfferth.

The opening set of the final they played accordingly, showing versatility and confidence that the Germans found hard to counter.

When they finally were challenged in the second set they were able to answer. Twice the Germans took the lead, but each time the Canadians wrested back control.

"We had a great time building our game every match," Gordon said.

"We're still not quite happy, but we are looking forward to the next event. We are aiming to be together for the long term, with the World Championships this year and the Commonwealth Games next year our goals."

Shepparton was just the second event together for the Canadians, and Saxton said the early signs were good.

"We still have a lot of growing to do as a team, communication and working out where each other is on the court all the time, but we're very excited how well we have come together," she said.

"We did struggle at times, but there is stuff to build on and stuff to learn from."

Earlier Australian top seeds Nikki Laird and Phoebe Bell were able to bounce back from their disappointing semifinal loss to win bronze over the young German pairing of Leonie Kortzinger and Sandra Seyfferth.

After their error-prone semi, the Australians got their act together in front of their home crowd to stitch together a 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) win.

The Germans, who survived two tough three-set matches on Saturday, were playing in their first World Tour match together. For 19-year-old Kortzinger it was her first World Tour event.

Bell and Laird, who came together for this tournament after playing over the summer with different partners, did not drop a set on Saturday, but found it hard to hit top form in the semifinal against Germany’s Kim Behrens and Anni Schumacher.

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