Big week on the courts
THINK January and tennis fans ponder the Australian Open in Melbourne, but there will be plenty of on- court action worth watching on the Northern Rivers in early 2013.
Ballina Tennis Club will host the Ballina New Year Open from January 7 to 10.
Tournament director Nathan Whitty is busy organising the tournament that carries $9000 in prizemoney.
It will attract players from Sydney, Gosford, Newcastle, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Northern Rivers.
The men's and women's open singles winners will each take home $1000.
There are also junior divisions, other senior categories and various singles, doubles and mixed doubles events.
The Ballina New Year is a bronze ranking Australian Money Tournament (AMT).
Seventy players have already entered the tournament.
Wildcard applications were being taken until last night and by late afternoon tournament organisers had received 34 entries for the open men's singles and 14for the open women's singles.
Entries are still open for non-AMT events. Contact Nathan Whitty on 0410-619803.
Whitty said the men's singles winner from 2012, Lismore's Brendan Moore, was injured and would not defend his title.
A national top-30 ranked player is among the nominations and Whitty said anyone who travelled to the courts on the corner of Cherry and Burnett streets would see some top-quality action.
Tournament fields are expected to be finalised soon but Whitty is confident that quality players will be on show.
"We're expecting four days of very good tennis," he said.
Before Ballina's event, the Lismore Open Championships will be played from January 3 to 6 at the Lismore Tennis Club.
Forty-five entries were received for the open men's singles and 20 for the open women's singles.
The silver ranked AMT event has attracted 75 entries across all categories, which is down on 2012 when100 players competed.
Sydney's Johnathon Cooper is the No 1 seed for the open men's singles while Grafton's Jacob Sullivan, the No 2 seed, is a leading Northern Rivers hope.
In the open women's singles, Chloe Costelloe (Gosford) will go in as the top seed.
Lismore Open Championships tournament organiser John Stoddart said any players who wanted to compete in non-AMT events such as the Under-12s, Under-14s and special singles could still nominate by phoning him on 0404-569759.