SYDNEY’S Corey Gaal overcame a serious semi-final test against Albury’s Mark Shanahan on his way to taking out the Albury Easter Tennis Tournament.
While the No.1 seed was always in control of the final against David Abfalter winning 6-0 6-2, it was a different story against Shanahan in the morning.
Shanahan held a set point before fading to go down 7-6 6-3.
“He’s obviously a young guy who is capable of hitting every shot,” Shanahan said of the 19-year-old.
“He’s hard to play.
“He would go missing for a few games and then the better I played the better he would play.
“It was hard to read what was going on.
“He’s a good player and had fresher legs after I had a long game on Sunday.”
It was Gaal’s first tournament at the Albury Grasscourts since he played in the Margaret Court Cup as a 12-year-old.
Shanahan and Gaal went shot for shot in the opening set before the Border coach squandered a chance at 6-5 on Gaal’s serve.
“I hit a volley up over his head to the backhand side but he hit a jump smash behind him for a winner cross court,” he said.
Shanahan, a four-time winner of the tournament, spent three hours on court during his quarter-final before winning in three sets.
He trailed 4-0 in the deciding set.
In the women’s final, Adelaide’s Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz won a hard-fought match against Canberra’s Sarina Kang 6-2 6-3.
The No.7 seed, who took 90 minutes to win the decider, defeated the number two, three and four seeds on her way to glory.
Albury came away with a win in the 12 and under girls singles with exciting prospect Ella Brown taking out the title.
She defeated No.1 seed Jane Haeusler 6-4 7-5 in a tight final.
The pair then combined to take out the 12 and under doubles final.
A record 340 entries were taken for this year’s tournament with the courts holding up well to the heavy traffic.