AN annual pilgrimage for Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club's labour day weekend tournament is a family affair for the Rumbles.
Williamstown-based Clive Rumble, wife Natasha and children Hannah, 16, and Declan, 13, have strong ties to the south-west.
Natasha's father Barry Smith, now 80, is a Warrnambool tennis identity.
Clive, Natasha and Hannah are playing in the three-day competition, which finished on Monday, with Declan, whose sporting interests are basketball and soccer, using the trip to catch up with his cousins.
Clive and Hannah are a father-daughter combination in the C grade mixed doubles.
"It is the best thing. I just enjoy it and I take pleasure when she's hitting the ball well and doing some great serves," he said.
"I have been playing with her for about five years, since she was 11.
"This year Hannah is playing C grade doubles too with her aunty which is Natasha's younger sister Carly (Martino)."
Clive said he enjoyed his visits to Warrnambool.
"We've been coming here 25 years, as long as we've been married," he said.
"Tash's family is here - Barry and his partner Gayle - and her oldest sister (Michelle) lives here too, on top of the hill overlooking Lake Pertobe.
"Not only do we come here and play tennis, we see family."
Clive said tennis was a big part of his wife's family.
"Martin Smith was a top tennis player locally and went over to the US to play college tennis," Clive said.
"He is still in New York, he's the coaching director of the New York Athletic Club and he's been doing that job for around 20 to 25 years.
"Tash was a country champion at 10, top-10 in Victoria at 10 before going on horses.
"She still plays and has a love for tennis.
"Her father Barry brought her down every night - he was a very good player himself, playing A grade.
"She often says she was down here (at Lake Pertobe as a child) from morning to night playing tennis."
The Rumbles are grateful they could take part in this year's long weekend tournament.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has upturned lives and forced lockdowns across Victoria, hit Australian shores just after the 2020 competition.
"This time last year - everything happened. Driving home on the Monday we remember COVID hitting and from then on it's history," Clive said.
"We were down here at Christmas time and were playing tennis. We thought we were lucky to get down then and we were lucky enough to come down during the year for Barry's 80th birthday. The family got together just before lockdown in July."
Nicholas Jovanovski, who won Warrnambool's post-Christmas tournament just three months ago, will play Adam Lasky in the men's open final on Monday morning.
Jovanovski defeated Andrew Whittington, who has played doubles at the Australian Open, in three sets in their semi-final showdown, winning 4-66-47-6 (6).
Number one seed Alana Parnaby will play meet Katherine Westbury, the number four seed, in the open women's final on Monday.
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