YOUNG ACE Adele McNamara is embracing the chance to play in two age groups at her first Warrnambool Lawn Open.
The 11-year-old will play in the under 11 and 12 singles as well as the under 12 doubles at Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club's marquee event.
"It's good that I have lots of things to do and I probably won't get a break at all," she said of her busy schedule.
"I usually get beaten a lot of the time but hopefully it's better this year. I learn a lot (playing up an age group) and then when I play my proper age group it really shows."
"I think I will go alright in the under 11s and hopefully I can win a few in under 12s."
The Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School student has never played in the popular three-day event and normally misses it because of the Port Fairy Folk Festival, which isn't running at full capacity in 2021.
McNamara first started playing when she was five and has fell in love instantly.
"I started doing it at (the) indoor (centre on Mortlake Road) and came here (Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club) when I was six and then I have been doing it here ever since," she said.
"I like playing with friends. I have made lots of friends playing tennis."
During the COVID-interrupted 2020 McNamara continued to have a few hits with her friends and was doing one private lesson a week.
McNamara used Friday's division primary school tournament as preparation for the tournament. She eventually lost in the final to Jasmine Phillips 4-3 but both players will play in the regionals in Ballarat in May.
Listen to the latest episode of our weekly episode The Booletin and Beyond:
Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club president Kim Tobin said the club was excited for a bumper weekend with 1300 games scheduled and more than 800 players entered.
"This event was held last year and four days later we went into lockdown and ten days ago we were wondering if we were going to have an event because of the recent lockdown," she said.
"It has been a full 12 months of inactivity in the tennis world and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to put it on again.
"We have needed to do things in a COVID-safe way and we have a COVID plan with crowd control, registering with contact tracing and we have had to do a few more procedures but it will all work quite well.
"It's really good luck that this is still going and the timing works out nicely for us because if it had of been three weeks ago it would have been a disaster."
Ninety-eight volunteers will help with the running of the popular three-day tournament.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.