AN arduous point marked the moment emerging tennis player Eloise Swarbrick believed she would win her first Australian Money Tournament title.
The Hawkesdale-based teenager – still only 15 – bounced back from a sluggish start to beat visitor Emily Ioannou 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the Warrnambool women’s singles final on Sunday.
“It was 2-all in the third and we had a really long deuce,” Swarbrick said.
“It went for about 10 deuces and that was nervous and I think that was the game that really put me on top when I won that.”
Swarbrick, who also won the women’s doubles with partner Tamara Bajagic in a super tiebreak, said the result gave her belief she could challenge more experience opponents.
The number three seed won five singles matches the Warrnambool event.
“It’s an amazing feeling first of all to have a win in front of the home town,” Swarbrick said.
“It means a lot to win a women’s tournament and it shows that I can really improve my tennis from here and take it further.
“It gives me so much confidence because I put out the number one seed, Nicole Mullen, who I am pretty sure is 19 or 20 (years old).
“Coming into this match I was playing somebody my age...I just thought I’d go out there, do my best and to come out with the win is just great.”
Ioannou put Swarbrick on the backfoot early, racing to a 6-1 first set win.
But her Warrnambool-trained opponent rallied on a familiar grass court.
“The first set just went super quick and I didn’t really think about placing the ball or what her weaknesses were or how to hit the ball, so in the second and third set I switched it up, (tried to) keep her deep, because I noticed she was coming in a lot more,” Swarbrick said.
“I tried to focus on my hitting technique to get that right before I could come in and put away short balls.
“I really focused a lot more and really got pumped up.”
Swarbrick will compete in an AMT competition in Shepparton from Monday.
The Emmanuel College student, having played five days straight, including mixed doubles with coach Matt Moloney, travelled hours after her Warrnambool win.
A injury retirement cost Ryan Thomas a chance at men’s singles and men’s doubles success.
The number eight seed hurt his hamstring warming up for his singles decider.
He dropped the first game to opponent Mustafa Ibraimi, who was ranked two, before calling it quits.
Fellow Warrnambool-trained talent, Woodford-based Harry Boyd, fell to Parkville opponent Enzo Aguiard in the under 16 boys’ final 6-3, 6-3.