Valley stars shine in Grafton event
CLARENCE Valley tennis stars Jake Sullivan and Brittany Huxley finished three days of high quality tennis with some outstanding victories yesterday.
Huxley, 17, took out the open women's title with a 6-4, 6-3 win of Chloe Costello, from the Central Coast, while Sullivan went down to number three seed Harrison Lombe, from Sydney, in the men's open final 6-3, 6-4.
But Sullivan later teamed with Brock Sherriff to take out the men's open doubles title 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Tournament director Andrew Weatherstone said the three days of tennis had showcased the talents of players from all over the state.
He said Huxley's win in the women's open singles was expected but singled out Sullivan's effort as significant.
"Jake's a good one," he said.
"He had a tough semi-final against Mick Cameron, from the Gold Coast, which could have gone either way.
"He closed that one out well in three sets 6-4, 5-7, 6-1."
His opponent Lombe also showed his potential with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 win over number one seed Jacob Meredith.
The men's final was a showcase of youth with Lombe, 16, showing plenty of class to down the local player.
Huxley won through to the final with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Grafton junior Tayla Beckman.
Costello reached the final with a straight sets demolition of Emily McColl 6-0, 6-0.
In the women's doubles, Huxley and Kelly Ford toppled Beckman and McColl 6-0, 6-0.
Weatherstone, who is also the Grafton District Tennis Club president, said the Jacaranda tournament was a one-off event at this time of the year.
He said next year the same tournament would be played at the end of July and be ranked high in the Tennis Australia rankings.
"This year the tournament will be played around Jacaranda (Festival) time, so we called it the Jacaranda Tournament," he said.
"It's ranked as a silver tournament by Tennis Australia. Next year it will be held around the end of July and be a platinum-ranked tournament."