Entries roll in for New Year Open
ENTRIES are rolling in for the annual Ballina New Year Open tennis tournament starting on January 7.
The event, to be held at the Ballina Tennis Club courts next to the Ballina Bowling Club, grows steadily each year and organisers hope to top last year’s tally of 187 entrants.
With the Kooyong Classic and Australian Open just around the corner, players on the fringe of the pro tour can use the Ballina event to fine tune in the quest for a pro tour wildcard.
The Ballina tournament sees $6500 in prizemoney at the four-day event and tournament organiser John Whitty is keen to see defending champions Adam Feeney and Madita Suer return to defend their titles.
“Adam is a world-ranked player so it would be great to have him back, but it depends on his commitments to other tournaments,” Whitty said.
“There is a good chance he will get picked up as a doubles player in the Medibank International (in Sydney) so we will just have to wait and see.”
The 24-year-old Feeney has been ranked as high as 248 in the world but the Gosford product is now ranked 444.
Suer, the women’s champion of 2009, is unranked by the WTA but there is no doubt the German would be a tournament drawcard.
“I’m hoping she will come back to defend her title; I haven’t had any-thing confirmed but there is a whisper she will be here,” he said.