Tennis fans in for a treat as Ballina Open continues
SOME cracking tennis is being played at this year’s Ballina Open tennis tournament, and organiser Brandon Rowe reckons players and spectators are in for a treat this weekend.
Player numbers are up, and the standard of play has improved in the 29 separate events across the three venues at Ballina, Alstonville and Wollongbar.
“We great numbers this year, we are up 20 per cent year with around 270 entrants across all events,” Rowe said.
“We have 64 AMT (Australian Money Tournament) in the men’s competition and 32 in the AMT women’s competition.”
Rowe said the event was growing in stature and attracting some very talented athletes.
“We run both a senior and junior tournament, (it’s) an Australian ranking event with players from all over the country,” he said.
The tournament hosts events ranging from 10 years and under to open age.
Rowe said top seed Brendon Moore was on course to win a third title.
“Moore is always tough to play,” he said.
“He’s a three times winner but there are some guys who will give him a run for his money... he got pushed by a younger player on Friday morning.”
Rowe said there had been an interesting upset in the women’s event.
He said the 2019 women’s runner-up and 2018 champion, Shannon Beckett, from the Gold Coast, who was seeded 8th, was a definite contender for the 2020 crown.
“The women’s draw is quite an open field with Shannon Beckett still in the main draw,” he said,
“The women’s number 1 seed (Laquisa Khan) has been bundled out and Shannon is still a good chance.”
Meanwhile ahead of their quarter-final, players Kaitlin Spanoudakis, 16, who is seeded in 6th place, and Taya Powell, 14, played on Friday.
In an upset, Taya won with a tie-breaker in the final set.
Competition continues on Saturday with the finals on Sunday.