Moloney, Dunn make it through to Warrnambool Grasscourt Open doubles decider

WARRNAMBOOL pairing Matt Moloney and Jake Dunn will fly the home-town flag on the final day of the Warrnambool Grasscourt Open.

Moloney, 28, and Dunn, 21, will play in the white-ranked Australian Money Tournament men’s doubles final today in front of a strong fan base.

The eighth seeds booked their spot in the decider by beating Michael Ilett and Nicholas Jovanovski 6-1, 6-3 in a semi-final yesterday afternoon.

George and Michael Shepheard, the sixth seeds, are the only combination left standing between them and the title.

The Shepheards defeated Calum Curtis-McDonald and Regan More 6-4, 6-2 in the other semi-final at the Pertobe Road courts.

Dunn said he and Moloney entered the final in good shape, despite four arduous days of singles and doubles tennis.

He said winning “the deuces and sudden death” late in games was the catalyst for their straight-sets win yesterday.

“We were pretty aggressive really, getting to the net as quickly and as often as we could to make sure we shut down the net,” he said.

“And we kept solid when we were hitting our volleys and made the opposition work for their points.

“Our games suit each other. With Matt at the net, he’s very solid, he never misses and he’s good with the drop shot, which suits the grass.” 

The title, should they win, would be the second for the doubles pairing. They won a bronze-ranked AMT at Bendigo earlier this year.

“We’ve had experience in finals but it’s good to be playing one in Warrnambool. We haven’t played together in Warrnambool in a tournament,” Dunn said.

Moloney and Dunn are the sole Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club players left in the main draw after the penultimate day of the tournament.

Moloney lost his men’s singles semi-final to Anthony Zafiris 6-3, 6-4. Zafiris will meet Aidan Fitzgerald in the final.

Harry Boyd and Bairnsdale junior Toby Radford lost their 12 and under boys’ doubles semi-final to Stefan Milenkovic and Thomas Pavlekovic-Smith.

The youngsters were competitive but went down in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, against the top seeds.

Danielle Warren and Eloise Swarbrick were likewise defeated by second seeds Mary Jayakody and Alexandra San Andres, 6-2, 6-2.

Danielle said the friends could hold their heads high after achieving their best finish in a tournament.

“The scores were 6-2, 6-2 but they were good, long rallies,” she said.

Danielle said her game had improved as a result of playing tennis for four consecutive days.

“I’m recovering back to the middle a lot after I’ve hit it, that’s improved,” she said.

In other grades, top seed Kate Antosik will take on eighth seed Nicole Mullen in the AMT women’s singles final.

Mullen is also in action in the doubles, pairing with Andrine Holt-Crossman against Emma Leech and Chloe Nickel.

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