MELBOURNE ace Chris Lamb will be vying for a place in the history books at Wangaratta this weekend.
The tennis star will shoot for his third straight Wangaratta Lawn Tennis Club title at the club’s annual three-day tournament.
Lamb, who made it back-to-back titles at Merriwa Park with a straight sets win over Ben Scott last year, will return to defend his men’s open crown on Saturday.
Grant O’Callaghan was the last player to win three titles in a row at the tournament, sealing his hat-trick in 1994.
Albury tennis star Ken Wurtz also won three consecutive titles in the early 1980s.
Tournament director Frank Harris confirmed Lamb’s entry yesterday.
“He’ll be back to defend his title,” Harris said.
“It’s been done a couple of times before but it would take a great effort.
“There’s been a lot of great players in the tournament over the years.”
Lamb shapes as one of the leading contenders in the 87th edition of the event, however, Harris said he would face stiff competition again from the likes of Scott.
American college player James Gardiner, who is playing in Melbourne, shapes as another threat to Lamb’s title.
In a blow, Harris confirmed reigning female champion Jo Hughes would not take part this year.
However, fellow Wangaratta star Lisa Beck — whom Hughes defeated in last year’s final — will be out to go one better.
“We’re very light on in the ladies, actually,” Harris said.
“We’ve got roughly the same number of entries as last year.
“We’ve got in excess of 200 players again which is good but probably a little bit less than what we expected.”
Competitors will take part across 40 events; the tournament kicks off on Saturday morning at 9am.
Michelle Hill holds the record for winning the most consecutive titles at the event, claiming the 1983, ’84, ’85 and ’86 titles.
She won nine overall, the same as Rod Wurtz.