Players look to shine

SERVING IT UP: Grafton Public School tennis players Tianna McGarvie, Eli Fahey, Damon Kirby, Benjamin Crispin, Celina McGarvie, Charley Tkalec, Lily Allen – won the Victor J Kelly statewide tennis knockout. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
SERVING IT UP: Grafton Public School tennis players Tianna McGarvie, Eli Fahey, Damon Kirby, Benjamin Crispin, Celina McGarvie, Charley Tkalec, Lily Allen – won the Victor J Kelly statewide tennis knockout. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

SOME of the best up-and-coming players are on show at Grafton City Tennis Club this weekend.

They have come from across Australia for the Grafton Open Platinum and U-18 Gold tournaments, which completed the first full day of the main draw yesterday.

Competitors are expected to play through today with the finals tomorrow, with several locals doing their best to win in front of their home crowd.

But this, however, is more than just a tennis tournament.

It is an opportunity for Grafton to showcase its worth to Tennis Australia and the local community, a chance that could open the doors to bigger competitions down the line.

Local coach Phil Beckman said it had been a brilliant event so far, and praised the strength of the field.

"To give you an idea of the strength of competition we have, Mark Draper brought a whole lot of Queensland Academy players down for it," Beckman said.

"We're pretty pleased with how it's gone so far and happy we're able to hold the event.

"The competitors have said they're happy with the facilities and that's what can help bring bigger players to the town.

"We've got players like Chris O'Connell, the top seed in the men's, who came from Sydney."

Other players include Lismore's Brendan Moore, the men's second seed, and the in-form Rob Smeets.

"Rob hasn't lost a match for a while and could be one of the guys that goes all the way," Beckman said.

Grafton's Jacob Sullivan was the best local hope in the men's competition, but lost in three sets in the first round of the main draw.

Locals Brittany Huxley and Taylah Beckman won through to the final 16 on the women's side of the draw.



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