Brendan in unexpected appearance
LISMORE tennis player Brendan Moore has made a surprise return to the court at the annual Easter Classic tournament in Lismore.
Moore was ruled out of action for six months after suffering stress fractures to his right tibia in February.
He played in the open doubles with his younger brother Nathan yesterday.
"I had a bone scan to determine whether I would play or not," Brendan Moore said.
"I wanted to play with my brother and I thought I'd be right to cover half the court.
"Singles definitely would have been too much but I think I can handle one game of doubles a day.
"I've had a lot of support from my coaches and physio about coming back early."
He has used a protected ranking on the ATP Tour and hopes to be back by August or September.
Moore, 25, who is now based in Brisbane, returns regularly to play in Ballina and Lismore money tournaments.
He has had a stranglehold on the open singles at the Lismore Open and Easter Classic for the past few years and believes the field is wide open this year.
"Having a look at it, any of the top four seeds can win," Moore said.
"Steve Gort (Mullumbimby) is always floating around and Jacob Sullivan (Grafton) deserves to be the number one seed.
"It will be a tough one to sit through.
"My brother Nathan (No.8 seed) has the ability to win. He just has to believe that he can do it."
The competition continues today and tomorrow with Monday set aside for any remaining finals.
Moore already has his sights set on the Casino Open Championships next weekend and is well on track with his rehabilitation.
"It's been tough; any heavy impact was like getting stabbed in the leg a couple of months ago," he said.
"Casino has synthetic courts and it will be a lot softer on the joints, so I've entered for the doubles and singles there.
"It's a week-by-week thing and it's all about getting a head-start for a return to the ATP Tour."
Tournament director John Stoddart is happy with the number of entries for the Easter Classic this year.
The January tournament was down on numbers after Tennis Australia changed the deadline for online entries this year.
"We're lucky to have around 130-140 players," he said.
"I think everyone is used to the new system now."