THE Mornington Peninsula Tennis International at the Civic Reserve, Mornington, was a big success. Held from 21 March-5 April the tournament included the women’s US$15,000 ITF Futures event and the men’s US$15,000 ITF Challenger event.
The men’s winner was Jose Statham, a member of the New Zealand Davis Cup Team, who beat fifth seed Matthew Barton, of NSW, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. This is Statham’s first singles victory since May 2013. He ended Barton’s 17-consecutive-match-winning streak – a run that included two previous titles.
Barton also fell just short in the men’s doubles final with partner Peter Torebko, of Germany. They were defeated by Australian pair Steven De Waard and Marc Polmans 7-6, 6-1.
Rising star Priscilla Hon, of Queensland, claimed her first ITF Pro Circuit singles title by defeating top seed Sandra Zaniewska, of Poland, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(4) in 2 hours 25 minutes.
Hon, 16, showed great composure after dropping the first set to play the big points well in a tense tie-break to become the inaugural Mornington Peninsula Women’s Tennis International winner, officials said.
Hon also won the women’s doubles final with partner Tammi Patterson, defeating second seeds Mana Ayukawa and Ayaka Okuna, of Japan, 6-4, 7-6.
Mayor Bev Colomb said about 2000 people attended the event. Feedback from the players, spectators and Tennis Australia was “overwhelmingly positive”, she said.
“It was a great tournament, and the new Mornington Tennis Centre is a fabulous venue for an event of this calibre.
“I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the free event, and the range of activities for the whole family, such as the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots clinics and cardio tennis sessions.”
Cr Colomb said representatives of the new National Tennis Academy visited the centre and were considering including the venue as part of their high performance delivery program.
“I congratulate the team at Mornington Tennis Club, Elite Tennis Academy and Civic Reserve Recreation Centre for their support of this Australian Pro Tour event,” she said.