Grafton Super Series tennis event a smash hit
COVID-19 brought tennis to a halt on the North Coast in 2020, but Grafton welcomed its first tournament in months with open arms on Sunday.
Juniors and seniors travelled from surrounding areas to compete across four divisions in the Tennis NSW Super Series tournament at Grafton City and Junction Hill tennis clubs.
Tournament director and Grafton City Tennis Club coach Phil Beckman said it was good to be back after the coveted North Coast tournament was cancelled in June.
"We didn't get to have our June long-weekend tournament this year so Tennis Australia have made up these tournaments for clubs that missed out," Beckman said.
"The North Coast tournament is a four-day event and this is just one day, but it's good to actually get tennis going again because we haven't had it for so long."
The tournament gives players the chance to work on their Universal Tennis Ranking while challenging themselves against worthy opposition.
"The format helps kids to get their rankings up by playing these events and helps them find their level," Beckman said.
"They play three matches, there's four in a pool. We had 16 players enter in the opens and we had four pools of four. They play the closest to their UTR ranking. It's three really good matches."
Beckman said the lack of finals and knockout games takes the pressure off the kids on the court.
"They're playing for personal gain. There's no winners or losers, no trophies or anything. It's just to get tennis going again and give the kids something to aspire to," he said.
"The younger ones see the better ones playing and learn from that. I like the system because it goes on your personal ranking so you want to try your best.
"It takes a bit of pressure off them and lets them enjoy the game and develop at their own speed."
Beckman was thankful to Tennis Australia, Tennis NSW and everyone else involved in putting the tournament together.
"North Coast Tennis rang us and Darren Crispin has been a big help as well as Kim Taylor at North East Tennis. They did a great job in getting it all together," he said.