Region's best tennis talents on show at Creswick

THE heat will be on South-West team members at the Victorian inter-regional country championships in Creswick, but nowhere near the level experienced in Swan Hill last year.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting tops of 20, 17 and 19 degrees for the three-day Tennis Victoria-run tournament, which starts on Friday.

Players sweltered as temperatures soared above 43 degrees in Swan Hill 12 months ago.

South West region team manager Andrew Drake said the Creswick forecast, barring rain, would be more conducive to tennis.

“This year will be a lot more comfortable so you’ll probably see better quality tennis,” Drake said.

“It is going to be a massive difference.

“Last year it was crazy because it got to 43 degrees on the first day.

“They decided to have no more play but if there were games on the courts you had to finish it. It got to 45 during those games.”

South West, which finished third out of 11 regions in Swan Hill, will send 27 players to Creswick.

The tournament includes junior, open and 45 plus grades.

Players will contest singles, doubles and mixed doubles in a knockout format.

Points accumulated go towards their respective team’s total.

“We unfortunately couldn’t fill a couple of spots so we’re missing an under 22 female and a 45-plus female as well,” Drake said.

“Other than that the team is filled. Some of the games are on hardcourts. Normally this is a grasscourt event but due to the courts up there unfortunately the 12s, 14s and 16s will play on hardcourts.

“Barwon is a tough one we always come up against. They are generally dominant.”

Warrnambool has five seeded players across the singles draw.

Matt Moloney, fresh from a doubles win at the Warrnambool Grasscourt Open, is the third seed in the open men’s singles section.

Open women’s hopeful Sarah O’Keeffe (number three seed), under 18 girls’ entrant Sophie Drake (one), under 16 boys’ chance Matt Dunn (three) and under 14 boys’ competitor Patrick Drake (three) are Warrnambool’s other seeded singles entries.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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