Oliver Casey in the open men's final at the Ballina New Year Open
Oliver Casey in the open men's final at the Ballina New Year Open Mitchell Craig

Oliver's winning twist at Ballina

TOP seed Oliver Casey fought back for a 4-6 6-2 6-1 win over Suffolk Park teenager Louis Clark in the open men's singles final at the Ballina New Year Open tennis tournament.

Casey has been taking a break since returning to Melbourne from a four-year college scholarship in North Carolina in the United States.

"He made me feel really uncomfortable out there and I was on the back foot until midway through that second set,” Casey said.

"I had to fire myself up to get back in the contest and I had a bit of luck as the match went on.

"It's never meant to be easy in a final and you have to keep your composure when you find yourself a set down.

"Full credit to him, he came out pretty fired up and really used his serve.

"We're both super competitive and I think that made a good atmosphere for the crowd.”

Earlier, Gold Coast teenager Ella Huresfovic proved too strong in the open women's final with a 6-4 6-3 win over New Zealander Tiana Windbuchler.

Windbuchler knocked off top seed Megan Smith 3-6 6-3 7-5 in the semi-final while Huresfovic was forced to overcome illness to play in the final.

"I was a bit worried when I caught the flu halfway through the tournament and thought I might have had to pull out,” Huresfovic said.

"I was able to get through it in the end and it was good to play a friend in the final.

"We've come up against each other a few times and have pretty similar styles.

"There isn't much between the top seeds and I think it's just a matter of who performs on the day.

"We're like a little pack and we travel all around Australia to play in these tournaments.”

Huresfovic hopes to put her $1000 prizemoney towards a trip to Europe while Casey said he would hold on to his cash.



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