Open Season at Ballina tennis tournament
AN extra day of competition has been added to the Ballina New Year Open making it a five-day tennis tournament in 2017.
About 250 players are expected to turn out when the competition starts at Alstonville and Ballina on January 3.
"We've added the extra day to try and counter the rain this year,” tournament director Brendon Rowe said.
"Every year I've been here it's rained and we've ended up having to cancel some of the events.
"Most of our entries come through on the final day and we should get plenty again this year.
"I'd think we get at least as many as last year and we'll be playing the first three days at Alstonville again too.”
Lismore tennis player-coach Brendan Moore won the open men's division for a third time last year.
He has not entered this year yet with Rowe expecting the bulk of entries to come through on Christmas eve.
"Brendan is doing a lot of coaching out of Tweed Heads and I'm nore sure what he is up to yet,” Rowe said
"About 90 per cent of the entries will come through on the final day and we'll have a better idea of what is going on then.”
The tournament will feature a stack of junior players at the event with rankings points on offer.
There was record entries last year after the upgrading of the event by Tennis Australia to a Silver AMT and Junior Bronze tour event.
"Everyone is chasing the ranking points and that's why the tournament has grown so much in recent years,” Rowe said.
"Having the ranking points has changed the whole profile of the tournament and we get the top junior players from all over the place turn up.”
Discounted accomadation for players is available at Dunes on Shelly Beach in Ballina.
Admission is free and spectators are welcome for all five days including finals on the Saturday.
For more information about the tournament visit www.ballinatennis.com.au.