South West tennis squad battles wind at Victoria country inter-region championships 

SOUTH West has finished sixth of nine contenders at the Victorian country inter-region championships at Creswick.

The representative tennis squad was down the standings after the three-day tournament, which wrapped up yesterday.

But squad officials were upbeat about the performances of the 27 players in the annual region-versus-region competition.

Barwon won its sixth consecutive overall title, taking out 18 of the 35 finals on offer in a dominant performance.

Goulburn was second while Central Highlands was third, rising up the standings after finishing last in 2013.

South West team manager Andrew Drake said the three days of tennis, at Mount Prospect Tennis Association, were “very successful”.

“We definitely can’t complain about everyone’s efforts and the conditions were interesting too,” he said yesterday.

“It did get very windy and also we lost about two hours’ play yesterday morning because of rain, which made the courts more difficult to play on.”

The inter-region championships included grades for players from 12 and under up to 45-plus, on hardcourt and grass surfaces.

Players contested singles, doubles and mixed doubles in a knockout format, with points earned going to their respective region’s total.

Sophie Drake was the standout player for South West, winning two finals and losing a third in the 18 and under grade.

Sophie teamed with Toby Timms to win the mixed doubles, 9-4, and with Danielle Higgins to win the girls’ doubles, 9-3.

She lost her girls’ singles final to Jessica Mason, 6-3, 6-3, having started as the top seed.

Toby also won two titles, the second coming in the boys’ singles. He beat Zac Lethlean 11-9 in a super tie-break after the first two sets went 2-6, 6-4.

Matt Moloney and Jake Dunn, fresh from their Warrnambool Grasscourt Open win last week, lost their open men’s doubles final 9-0.

Eloise Swarbrick and Danielle Warren went down in the 12 and under girls’ doubles final, 9-8.

Thomas Champness also reached a final, in the 16 and under boys’ singles, but lost to Jordan Butts 10-4.

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