Letcher cleans up in Casino tennis



BALLINA player Chris Letcher, the No 4 seed, defeated Lismore's Brendan Moore, the No 2 seed, to win the men's open singles title at the Casino Open tennis championships.

Letcher won in straight sets, 7-5 6-3, in a tight and entertaining match.

He then combined with fellow Ballina player Paul Denning to defeat Lismore's Luke Edwards and Redcliffe's Brad Clews, again in straight sets.

Topping off a successful weekend, Letcher and Shae Whitty, also from Ballina, defeated the top seeds in the open mixed doubles semi-final and then went on to take out the title with a straight sets win over Edwards and fellow Lismore player Ellie Wray.

Players from as far away as Sydney competed for national ranking points in the tournament, sponsored by the Hotel Cecil.

Most of the major events, prizemoney and valuable points went to Northern Rivers players.

The only major event to go to a competitor from outside the region was the women's open singles.

This was an extremely tough event with the top four seeded players ranked in the top 150 women in the country and others ranked in the top 300.

The final was an all-Queensland affair with the two top seeds, Jessica Schaer and Bianca Smith, fighting it out. No 1 seed Schaer handled the power hitting of Smith to win in straight sets, 6-4 6-2.

The open women's doubles final was a battle between sisters Sarah and Ellie Wray of Lismore and Laura and Erin Billett of Maclean.

The more experienced Wray sisters took the title 6-2 6-0.

The tournament was used by one player as a warm-up before heading overseas.

Victorian Lyn Mortimer competed in the women's open singles, losing her quarter-final to top seed Schaer, and also played in the women's special singles, defeating Casino junior Amanda Way in the final.

Mortimer will play in Spain before heading to Germany to represent Australia.

Results: Men's open singles: C Letcher d B Moore 7-5 6-3. Women's open singles: J Schaer d B Smith 6-2 6-4. Men's open doubles: C Letcher and P Denning d L Edwards and B Clews 6-4 7-5.

Women's open doubles: E Wray and S Wray d L Billett and E Billett 6-2 6-0.

Mixed open doubles: C Letcher and S Whitty d L Edwards and E Wray 9-4.

Men's special singles: M Luck d B Devlin 1-6 6-4 10-8.

Women's special singles: L Mortimer d A Way 7-6 6-2.

Men's special doubles: I MacDonald and R Bray d T Billett and J Billett 6-1 6-3.

Mixed special doubles: A Berrada and K Jones d N Moore and T Moore 6-2 6-3.

Men's A-grade singles: M Rowed d R Bray walkover.

Men's B-grade singles: T Billett d A Pirlo 9-1.

Women's B-grade singles: C Green d B Moore 9-5.



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