Sports

Mahala Hitchings meeting Dasha Gavrilova at the Australian Open

Local tennis youngsters perform well at Ballina

Ballina saw the first Junior Development Series (JDS) tennis tournament for the year last Sunday week with a record number of 10 entrants from the Lower Clarence Tennis Association competing.

Mahala Hitchings had a great start to the year, attending the Australian Open in Melbourne and was excited to get a photo with her idol “Dasha” Gavrilova.

Mahala played solid tennis at Ballina to get to the final of the 10 girls, only to fall just short in a tie breaker 6/5 after having had a match point.

In her first time in the 14 girls, Sammy Hayman came through victorious in the final, winning 6-2.

She credited her win to her new found determination at squad training sessions, training hard with medicine balls and new sprint and agility training helping her to move so much better.

Eight year old Ollie Seeto also qualified for the 10 boys finals after winning his pool rounds and pleasing the crowd with his first “tweener” winner of the year.

Nathan Hayman also finished in the top four in the 24 man field in the 12 boys and Matthew Taylor also performed well in the 14 boys.

The Doherty brothers Alex and Nick enjoyed their first tournament in the 12 boys and 10 boys. And Kayla Ellis and Abbey Spears did likewise in the 10 girls.

Unfortunately Chris Gumb (12 boys) had to pull out with sickness on the day.

The next tournement will be in Grafton on Sunday March 3.  All the players can’t wait coach Alan Jurd said, “we will also be featuring several more players in Grafton.”

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