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13 January 2021
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Spots on next year’s Wimmera representative tennis team are likely to be hotly contested with the announcement Horsham will host 2022 country championships.
Thirty-two of the Wimmera’s best tennis players put their skills to the test at the weekend, with many enjoying a successful outing at the 65th Tennis Victoria Inter-regional Country Championships.
Wimmera team events co-ordinator Sandra Casey said she believed many players would again put up their hand to represent the region after a successful and enjoyable three-day outing in Warrnambool.
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“It all went really well,” she said.
“We ended up with three main-draw finalists and quite a few consolation finalists.
“Some of the players lost in the first round but still went on to make consolation finals, which is a great effort.”
Logan Casey enjoyed the best results of all Wimmera players.
The young Horsham talent, whose tennis continues to go from strength to strength, won the under-14 singles country championship, triumphing in the final 6-0, 6-2.
“Logan was the number-one seed so there was a bit of pressure on him going into the tournament. But he won, so obviously they got the seeding right,” Mrs Casey said.
“It’s his first inter-regional individual win – he has won mixed doubles before – and he was thrilled to win this one on his own.”
Logan also qualified for his doubles final with Aiden Richardson, with the pair claiming runner-up honours against the top seeds, 5-4, 1-4, 10-8.
Kirby Knight and Georgia McLennan claimed silver in the 25 and under doubles main draw, 4-1, 4-2.
Several players also competed in consolation finals.
Winners included Cherie Wood, 35-49 women’s singles, 6-1; Tahlia Thompson and Jordy Friberg, 16 and under mixed, 7-6; Kim Hartwich and Leesa McInnes, 50-plus women’s doubles, walkover.
Runners-up included Dylan Emmerson, men’s open division, 4-6; Blair Penrose and Conor Chivell, 16 and under mixed, 6-7; Tara McIntyre and Aiden Richardson, 14 and under mixed, 1-6; Leesa McInnes and Ross McIntyre, 50-plus mixed doubles, 1-6; Kate-Lyn Perkin and Paula Wiedermann, open doubles, 2-6.
Overall, Wimmera finished sixth of nine teams, which Mrs Casey said was comparable to its 2020 performance.
She congratulated all participants on their efforts, on and off the court.
“Our crowd was very busy, moving from court to court to watch all the Wimmera players and cheer them on,” she said.
“I know it sounds like I’m bragging, but as a region we do it better than all the others. It’s great to see the row of Wimmera shirts all lined up supporting everyone – it’s a real team environment.”
Mrs Casey said feedback had been ‘nothing but positive’ from Wimmera participants.
“The weather, which of course we have no control over, was perfect and the courts were in great condition. The running of the event was excellent, as was the quality of competition,” she said.
“Everyone I spoke to had a fantastic time. When you take something away from someone and then give it back they appreciate it more and that was evident at the weekend.”
Mrs Casey will now look to compile a team for the Pat Cash Cup at Wodonga at the end of next month.
She said the junior event involved teams of 16 players from 12 and under through to 18 and under divisions.
“We need to fill a full team to be able to go. I’m about to start the process for that so hopefully we will be able to,” she said.
“Otherwise, we will also be doing smaller group representative events in the different age categories throughout the year.”
Mrs Casey said she was excited Horsham Lawn Tennis Club had won the right to host the 66th country championships.
“The competition will bring a lot of money into the town, particularly in terms of accommodation and people eating out, so it is important the wider community gets behind it,” she said.
“We need the whole tennis community to get behind Horsham Lawn Tennis Club and give them a hand with the event, not just leave it to the club to do everything.
“I’m sure there will also be a lot of interested players – the trials could be pretty tightly contested.”
The entire January 13, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!