THE long-running NSW Country Week tennis tournament is unlikely to be held in January again after another drop in numbers.
Only 14 teams — eight men’s and six women’s — have entered this week’s five-day event at the Albury grasscourts, down from 17 last year and 22 two years ago.
Tennis NSW and Albury Tennis Association are in the third and final year of a deal to host the event at the Border club after it was abandoned in 2010 due to low numbers in Sydney.
Tournament director Ellen Gordon yesterday said that an overflowing summer calendar had contributed to the lack of teams, as had the threat of bushfires.
Fewer than 15 players have entered singles.
“We’ll reassess the tournament because the heat in January is a factor,” Gordon said.
“We will look at maybe spring or autumn and, hopefully, that will bring some people back.
“It clashes with a lot of events and many people can only afford one holiday during the Christmas break.
“We want to keep it in our country calendar and we’ll look to canvass the players and take that feedback.
“It’s our third year at Albury and we would have liked more teams.
“Those people here want to be here — they will have fun and enjoy it because the venue is fantastic.”
The three Albury men’s teams started the tournament well with Albury Gold, Albury Platinum and Sacred Heart unbeaten yesterday.
The other men’s section teams are Penrith Pythons, Nepean Ninjas, Bega Champs, Tooraweenah and Bega Ball Breakers.
The women’s division is made up of Albury Aces, Albury Pinkies, Nepean Nymphs, Forbes Fillies, Port Princesses and Scone Spice Girls.
Semi-finals will be held on Thursday afternoon with finals on Friday.
Today’s matches start at 8.30am.