Ellie all class in junior title win
By ADAM HICKS firstname.lastname@example.org ELLIE WRAY returned to competitive tennis with a classy display at the Lismore Open Age Junior Championship.
The Lismore teenager went mostly unchallenged as she claimed the 18 and Under girls title without dropping a set over the five-day tournament at Lismore Tennis Centre.
Ellie won the final 6-3, 6-3 from Queenslander Hannah Receveur yesterday morning.
"She was up 5-1 before a rain delay," said her father Ken. "She came back out and dropped a couple of games but she was always in control."
The win was a step into a busy year for Ellie who plans to take a one-year break from further studies to concentrate on tennis.
"Because she's been doing her HSC she hasn't been able to travel," Ken said.
"She used this one as a step to get back into it." Ken said Ellie was now preparing for a series of Australian Money Tournaments around the country as well as two International Tennis Federation junior events in New Zealand in February and a trip to the USA in July.
"She's going to pursue the dream," Ken said. Lismore's Stella McWilliam also performed well at the Championship scoring a surprise win in a match she was not even set down to play.
Stella partnered Britt Schlimmer to the 12 and Under girls' doubles title after stepping in as a last minute replacement for Britt's Gold Coast partner who fell ill before the tournament.
The event wound to a close yesterday with 22 finals matches.
More than 300 players aged under 18 converged on Lismore for the five-day event which is one of the largest regional tournaments in country NSW.