Warrnambool grasscourt event offers money, ranking points

ESTABLISHED south-west tennis player Matt Moloney has thrown his support behind Warrnambool Junior Grasscourt Open’s new open section.

Moloney, 28, will play in the men’s singles and men’s doubles at the five-day tournament, which starts tomorrow.

It is the first time the annual Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club competition has incorporated an open section in its fixture.

The open events are registered as an Australian Money Tournament (AMT), allowing players to compete for prizemoney and ranking points.

Moloney was one of 45 men to enter the men’s singles, while Warrnambool teenager Sophie Drake was named in the 31-strong women’s field.

More than 280 players have registered in total.

Moloney said he was grateful a second open tournament had been added to the Warrnambool calendar to complement its March long weekend competition.

The tennis coach, who will miss the 2014 March long weekend competition due to a family wedding, said it eased the travel burden.

“It’s definitely a bonus. It’s always hard for country people to go away and play tournaments,” he said.

“If you want to play tournaments, you’re on the road most of the time so it’s good to have a second one at home.”

Moloney said the number of entries was positive and would only grow in coming years.

“It’s not too bad considering it’s the first time and there are a couple of other tournaments on as well,” he said.

“I know there is a big one in Geelong and I think there is one in Dingley as well so it’s a good start.

“I assume it will build and get bigger once more people find out about it.”

Moloney said he was unsure how he would fare in the singles.

He is unseeded but is part of the main draw.

“I am not expecting much. I haven’t been hitting a whole heap,” he said.

“I am playing the number one seed in my second match if I win my first one.”

Moloney will team with fellow Warrnambool player Jake Dunn in the men’s doubles event.

The pair is seeded and will take confidence into the competition, having shared success before.

“We have a tough first round match but fingers crossed,” Moloney said.

“We play well together.

“He is a solid doubles player, a pretty aggressive player and has a bit of game.

“He is a good partner to have. 

‘‘We played a couple of tournaments together in Bendigo and we won one of them in April this year.”

Moloney said his game complemented Dunn’s.

“I try to play an aggressive game. I am not the biggest serve or a massive hitter but I try to go for my shots,” he said.

“I try and play crafty and use my slice backhand.”

Warrnambool has two seeded players in the singles’ competition: Drake (pictured below) is the number seven seed in the women’s singles and Harry Boyd is seeded eighth in the 12 and under boys’ section.

The tournament starts tomorrow and finishes on New Year’s Eve.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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