Photo: Tim ClaytonKerry Ballard celebrates with Carol Campling (both AUS)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA: The Robertson Park Tennis Centre in Perth, Western Australia was blessed with stunning weather during it's hosting of the 2012 Australian Tennis Seniors Championships from 9-20 January. Temperatures in the mid nineties (around 35 C) blessed the championships where 111 teams (around 700 players) from Australia, New Zealand and Canada played the Team Championships with many players staying on to play the individual event the following week.
For the first time, players and officials could see the new digital processes of the ITF in action. By selecting the tournament from the calendar and clicking on the name of the tournament, daily results and all the other tournament information was available in Tournament Planner. The tennis centre, which hosted the 2009 Super-Seniors World Championships provided 30 grass courts for the championships.
A number of overseas players performed strongly, including John Powless (USA), Lorne Main (Canada), Mary Ann Gaskin (Canada) and Quentin Maissey (New Zealand). Powless defeated Main in the final of the Men’s 80 singles 63 64, before combining with Peter Froelich to clinch the doubles. Main then combined with Adrienne Avis to win the 60 Mixed Doubles. Gaskin made it through to the final of the Women’s 60 singles but met Carol Campling who was in a dominant mood and unfortunately Quentin Maissey (NZL) had to retire due to injury in the final of men’s 60’s against Andrew Rae (AUS), losing 36 14 retired.
The grass surface proved a challenge to many of the players from the eastern states but the Westralians were in their own backyard where Brett Patten (Men’s 40+’s against Peter Elliott, NSW), Brad Properjohn (Men’s 50’s against Simon Arms, Vic), and Kurt Robinson (Men’s 45’s against Gary Nadebaum, USA and formerly of WA) all recorded wins in their respective men’s singles.
Two men recording their first Australian Championships were Dennis Bindon, NSW (Men’s 70’s against Bruce Rehn , SA 64 60) and Kevin Crump, Qld (Men’s 75’s singles against Ian King, NSW, 46 63 61).
In the remaining men’s singles, three pairs of Australian representatives played each other. Peter Keller defeated Terry Smith, 62 64, in the final of the Men’s 65’s while evergreen 90 year old Neville Halligan (Qld) had to lower his colours to the younger 86 year old Doug Corbett, NSW, in the final of the Men’s 85 singles. In the final of the Men’s 55+ singles, TSA Player of the year and current World Champion, Glenn Busby again proved too strong for fellow team mate Gary Thoroughgood, NSW, winning 63 64.
In the younger women’s age categories, Karen Pearce (Qld) defeated Sharon Hoole (Qld) 60 62 in the women’s 35’s and Fiona Medina (Vic) defeated Susan Rheinberger (Qld) 64 62 in the women’s 45’s.
Three women bound for the Seniors World Individual Championships in San Diego, USA next month performed well in the Women’s singles. In the women’s 50’s, former World Champion Ros Balodis defeated fellow ACT resident Narelle Raftery, winning 62 63 while Lyn Mortimer (Qld) defeated former Australian representative Kaye Nealon (NSW) in the 55’s
Making a return to tournament play after dealing with illness for a year, it was great to see Kerry Ballard (NSW) back at our tournaments. Kerry won the 60+ Women’s singles with a 62 64 win over fellow Australian team player Wendy Gilchrist (Qld).
The longest women’s singles match was the 70+ three setter which took 2 ½ hours between Mary Gordon (NSW) and Judy Hancy (Vic). Gordon demonstrated her usual sparkle and determination to win 63 26 75. Most games in the third set went to deuce with one game estimated to have approximately 20 deuces.
Nola Collins (Vic) returning from a half-knee replacement defeated Peg Hoysted (NSW) in the final of the Women’s 75+ singles and in the 80’s singles Margaret Fisher (NSW) defeated Elsie Crow (WA).
A couple of other notable performances included former Australian representatives Lito Alvarez and Peter Rigg, both from WA, defeating the current World Doubles Champions Andrew Rae (Vic) and Max Bates (Qld) 62 62. In the 70’s Mixed Doubles, former Australian representatives Margaret Wayte, NSW, and Bruce Burns, NSW, recorded their sixteenth win in an Australian Championships.