Tennis players defy dismal weather

Another South Coast Open, another weekend of tennis heavily affected by dismal weather.

But despite the constant rain delays that meant six of the 25 events were unfinished, the tournament proved to be another great success with some top players from all across New South Wales and the ACT putting on a fine display of competitive tennis.

Batemans Bay Tennis Club head coach Rob Frawley said that tournament organisers were lucky to have completed as many of the divisions as they did.

“The last games on Sunday finished around midnight because of all the rain delays we had,” he said.

“And on Monday we were lucky to get through as many of the finals as we did because a lot of the courts were underwater and just unplayable. It’s a testament to the work of everyone who made play possible on the last day.”

Among those divisions that were completed were the premier events of the tournament, the men’s and women’s open singles.

The highly anticipated men’s singles final was contested by Nowra’s Sam Fletcher and Sydney’s Glenn Knox. Both players have previously held world rankings but on this occasion it was Fletcher who prevailed in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6.

Frawley said the wet conditions played into Fletcher’s hands.

“The wet weather suited Sam’s serve and volley game,” he said.

“Glenn played well but Sam took advantage of the wet court by playing a lot of skidding shots that made it difficult for Glenn.”

In the women’s singles final, Melissa Anderson of Sydney won in convincing fashion against Ivana Vlakic, dropping just one game en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

“Melissa was ruthless with the way she played and she left a lot of people thinking that she could still do quite well on the World Tour,” Frawley said.

In the open men’s doubles final, former Batemans Bay club member, turned Canberra resident Edwin Smith and his playing partner Daniel Fraser were a set up when their match against John and Richard Kellert was abandoned due to rain.

The open women’s doubles saw Anderson team up with Melissa Wong to defeat Vlakic and Ellen Perez in the final.

The open mixed doubles final was set to be played with another former Batemans Bay local turned Canberra resident Nelson Parker and his partner Jacqueline Bosanka set to take on Knox and Anderson but the wet weather stopped the match from going ahead.

A number of local players also fared well at the tournament. Parker’s brother, Christian, made the final of the special men’s singles before he was forced to retire due to a shoulder injury.

Madelyne Czubara of Tuross won the B grade ladies’ singles while Moruya-based Adelaide Silvester finished runner-up in the C grade ladies’ singles.

In the C grade ladies’ doubles Elaine Anderson and Michelle Blackburn finished

runners-up while Narooma’s Jack Knipler and Charlie Young finished runners-up in the B grade men’s doubles.

Nigel Smith and Maxine Smith progressed to the final of the A grade mixed doubles but the match was washed out.

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