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08 January 2020
By SARAH SCULLY
Wimmera tennis players tasted success against players from across the state at the Tennis Victoria Inter-regional Country Championships in Mildura at the weekend.
More than 250 players, plus officials, descended on Mildura Lawn Tennis Club for the three-day event, now in its 64th year.
Wimmera regional team event co-
ordinator Sandra Casey said the region’s players enjoyed triumphs in singles and doubles contests.
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“We finished fifth overall, and I found out later we only missed out on fourth by one point,” she said.
“Goulburn won convincingly, but the competition was very close between third and sixth. It was nice to feel like we were in the mix.
“I went back and had a look at our points from last year and we made a big improvement this year.
“To have finalists in five events was great.”
Ella Thompson and Tara McIntyre continued stellar seasons in the 12 and under grade, pairing up to win the doubles title.
Ella also won her singles grand final, with Tara narrowly missing out on a grand-final berth after losing her semi-final in a tie-breaker.
Tahlia Thompson and Logan Casey qualified for the 14 and under mixed doubles decider, while Ian Nitschke and Peter Hayes, and Deb Lawson and Barb Crough were doubles finalists in the 50-plus division.
Several Wimmera players also made and won consolation grand finals.
“It was a huge three days,” Mrs Casey said.
“It always seems to be a battle against the weather. On Friday play was suspended at 1.45pm due to the heat.
“On Saturday they started at 7.30am and scheduled 420 matches – which was massive. They did it, too. Play finished about 8pm on Saturday night.
“The players were amazing. They knew it was a big day and they fronted up happy and all supported each other.
“On Sunday we started at 7.30am again, this time to beat the rain. After presentations we jumped in the car and the rain started, which was great for the region.”
Mrs Casey said the future of Wimmera tennis looked bright, with competition to make the regional team fierce at junior level.
Juniors won selection to the Wimmera team based on results at points tournaments and in Central Wimmera Tennis Association competition. “It was great to see that not only are our juniors strong in our region, but they are also competitive among the best players from other regions,” Mrs Casey said.
“Probably the highlight for me was the way they supported each other.
“I was looking for Ella and Tara after they won the doubles and they were over cheering on the boys, as soon as they came off the court.
“That’s what’s great about the event, everyone supports each other. There is a great atmosphere.”
Mrs Casey said the Wimmera would send a team to the 65th inter-regional championships in Warrnambool in 2021.
Consolation results: 14 and under girls singles winner, Gemma Walker; 16 and under boys singles winner, Jordy Friberg, and mixed doubles finalists, Joel Rees and Jaye Farlow; 25 and under mixed doubles winners, Ben Hartwich and Sophie De Wit; 35-49 mixed doubles winners, Graeme and Cherie Wood, and men’s singles finalist, Graeme Wood; open men’s singles finalist, Jeff Friberg, and doubles finalists, Dylan Emmerson and Jeff Friberg; open women’s singles finalist, Paula Wiedermann, and doubles finalists, Anna Exell and Paula Wiedermann.
The entire January 8, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!