Tourney set for the best
THIS long weekend Grafton City Tennis Club hosts the 79th North Coast Open Tennis Championships.
The event has attracted record entries with 225 players competing for more than $4000 in money and prizes. In the 38 different events 430 matches have been scheduled over the three-day tournament.
In the open men's singles, seven-time winner and defending champion Michael Beckman, the No.1 seed, faces strong opposition from 24 opponents. Brendan Moore, from Lismore, who is currently playing the satellite circuit is the second seed, Glen Philp (Currumbin Valley) a three-time winner of the event is No.3 seed, with Grafton's Phillip Beckman seeded No.4.
In the open women's singles the No.1 seed is Emelyn Starr, from Tamworth, who won the event in 2004. Defending champion, Grafton's Kelly Adamson, a seven-time winner is the No.2 seed, and both ladies face tough opposition from Lismore, Maclean and Coffs Harbour.
A large number of entries have been received for the open men's doubles, ladies doubles and mixed doubles with the highlight being in the men's event with the Beckman brothers competing for their 10th title.
Thirty entries have been received for the Special men's singles with several backing up from the open.
The winner is a tough one to pick although Nick Hew (Lismore), Eli Bayliss (Coffs Harbour), Stephen Gort (Mullumbimby) appear to be the top chances.
In the Special men's and ladies doubles there are big fields for both events. B-grade events see a sprinkling of locals amongst the 27 entered in the men's singles, 14 in the women's singles and 13 pairings in the mixed doubles. C-grade events have 30 entries.
? Melissa Fussell.