Warrnambool pair dominates doubles final

MATT Moloney and Jake Dunn celebrated a home-court victory at the Warrnambool Grasscourt Open yesterday.

The pair collected the open men’s doubles title, cruising to a comfortable 6-3, 6-0 final win against visitors George and Michael Shepheard. 

Moloney, 28, coached Dunn, 21, when he was a junior.

They have since formed a dominant doubles combination. Their Warrnambool win complemented a Bendigo triumph earlier in 2013.

Dunn said they wrested advantage early in the Australian Money Tournament final and held the momentum throughout the straight-sets win.

“It was pretty quick actually. We played pretty well,” he said of the 58-minute match.

“Of the brothers, one of them was quite young so strength-wise we were a bit stronger physically than him so that helped us a lot.

“We got on top of them at the net early and made sure we kept the intensity up.”

Dunn said their first-round match-up against eventual men’s singles winner Aidan Fitzgerald and Ben Crowe was the toughest.

“Aidan has had a world ranking in doubles in the past and he’s six-foot seven so his reach across the court is good,” he said. “In the second set he stepped up.”

The Ballarat-based university student said he enjoyed playing with Moloney, someone he’d looked up to since he was a junior.

“When he started coaching me I wanted to play with him because he was the best in Warrnambool for 10 years,” he said.

Dunn fell short of playing Moloney in the men’s singles draw. He lost his quarter-final — a win would have set up an all-Warrnambool battle in the semi-final.

“It was frustrating for me because I have wanted to play Matt for a long time and found out afterwards I would have played him,” Dunn said. 

Moloney, who suffered a straight sets singles semi-final loss to eventual runner-up Anthony Zafiris, said eliminating skill errors helped him and Dunn snare the doubles crown.

He said the pair stuck to basics and “concentrated on getting our first serves in as well”.

“We played consistently throughout the whole week so we were pretty happy about that,” Moloney said.

Moloney said the pair dedicated their win to the late Barry Barton, a key figure in Warrnambool’s tennis history who died last year.

Moloney and Dunn celebrated their win with a round of golf yesterday afternoon.

They will team up again at the Victorian intra-regionals from January 3-5.

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