Ganet takes out crown at New Year Open

EYES ON PRIZE: Patrick Ganet prepares to unleash another forehand during the men’s singles final at this year’s Ballina New Year Open.
EYES ON PRIZE: Patrick Ganet prepares to unleash another forehand during the men’s singles final at this year’s Ballina New Year Open. Stuart Turner

"YOU cannot have life without tennis".

That is Patrick Ganet's motto, which explains why he was so overjoyed to win the men's singles crown at this year's Ballina New Year Open.

The Lismore-born second seed saw off Brisbane's Steven De Waard in a three-hour, three-set epic to take the $1000 top prize.

After spending several years slogging it out on the nation's professional circuit and travelling overseas to hone his skills, the 30-year-old was delighted with the win.

"It's not an easy life as a pro," he said.

"You scramble around, sleep in your car and do a lot of things just to get to the next tournament.

"Why do I do it? There's nothing like it.

"People say 'it's just tennis', but to me you cannot have life without tennis."

Ganet, who also lived in Brunswick Heads as child, eventually claimed a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory after a see-saw battle with the top seed.

It was the first time Ganet, who is ranked about 75 in Australia, had played the tournament since appearing as a junior about 20 years ago.

The right-hander's game has been in the ascendancy since returning from an 18-month spell playing the tough club circuit in Germany.

The competition features world ranked pros and other high class players from across the world.

"This is the sixth tournament in a row I've won," Ganet said.

"I'm feeling fantastic.

"I just have the feeling that it's all on my racquet at the moment.

"If you can beat me then, 'too good', but not many are doing that at the moment."

Ganet is now aiming to play Australian world ranking events over the next few months before returning to Germany once again.

Dozens of players from New South Wales and interstate again competed in the four-day tournament, which wrapped up yesterday.

Top-seeded Taylah Beckman won the women's singles after another tough battle.

The Grafton player defeated second seed Alicia Smith in three sets.

Matches were held in various divisions at the Ballina Tennis Club tournament.

Local standouts included Bryce and Zoe Devlin, who took the special mixed doubles crown.

Home player Frank Schultheiss was runner-up in the B grade men's singles.



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