Sally’s on top af­ter big shock


SALLY Fitzgib­bons is back on top of the world thanks to a young Aus­tralian who caused a big up­set at the Swatch Pro at Tres­tles.

Keely An­drew shocked Fitzgib­bons’ Amer­i­can ri­val for the world ti­tle, Court­ney Con­logue, in the semi-fi­nals.

In her best ever World Tour per­for­mance, An­drew then fin­ished run­ner-up to Brazil­ian Sil­vana Lima.

Con­logue’s loss means Fitzgib­bons, who fin­ished fifth in the Swatch Pro, as­sumes the lead in the race for the 2017 world ti­tle.

The Swatch Pro has shaken up the rank­ings.

World cham­pion Tyler Wright went into the event in No.1 spot but an early exit meant she crashed down to third as they head to the next event in Por­tu­gal.

Six-time world cham­pion Steph Gil­more sits be­hind rank­ings lead­ers Fitzgib­bons, Con­logue and Wright. Aus­tralian Gil­more was beaten by Lima in their quar­ters clash.

An­drew’s sec­ond place in the event is the Sun­shine Coast surfer’s best fin­ish from her two years on tour.

“I was just happy to get into the semis but to make it back out there for one more heat and surf Low­ers with just one other per­son out was pretty spe­cial,” An­drew said.

“Hav­ing it against Sil­vana [Lima] was great. She’s one of my fa­vorite surfers on tour.

“She’s just so tena­cious and I was just happy to as­sert my­self on the tour fi­nally.”

An­drew has moved into 11th place on the rank­ings - one spot off au­to­matic re­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

“I’m feel­ing good with some good boards un­der my feet and I just want to keep mak­ing heats and be in that top 10 by the end of the year,” she said.

“My back-up plan is in place with my rat­ing on the QS (qual­i­fi­ca­tion series) so it feels good head­ing into the back­end of the year with some op­por­tu­nity to open up a bit ear­lier on this sea­son.”

Brazil­ian Filipe Toledo beat South African Jordy Smith for the Hur­ley Pro men’s crown.

HAPPY CAP­TAIN: Aus­tralia’s Steve Smith is all smiles dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion, ahead of to­day’s open­ing match against In­dia. Pic­ture: ARUN SANKAR

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