A RECORD number of entries have been received for the 56th edition of the Victorian Inter-Regional tennis tournament, to be held at Wangaratta Lawn Tennis club for the first time in almost 10 years.
Just over 400 players have entered the tournament from January 6 to 8, with all 11 eligible regions in the state competing for the first time in three years.
Vicki Moore, one of the tournament directors, said some of Victoria’s best amatuer players look set to compete at the event.
“The standard, particularly in the open singles, is really high,” Moore said.
“There are players competing there who play state grade pennant.
“Tennis Victoria informed us that we’ve got the highest number of entries in the tournament’s 56-year history, which is great.
“Wang’s clubhouse has been re-done and the committee there is really behind it.
“It should be three really good days of tennis.”
Last year’s men’s open singles winner Curt Garwood will defend his title at Wangaratta, with his main threat likely to come from Barwon’s Justin Robinson.
Wangaratta Rovers legend Matt Allen, a 10-time club singles champion at Wangaratta Lawn Tennis Club, and club coach Ben Scott will represent the North East in that section.
In the women’s open singles, Karen Filippou from Barwon region is the No. 1 seed, with Vicki Stuckey from Central Gippsland No. 2.
Like Garwood, Fillippou plays state grade pennant, with the Barwon region the powerhouse in the state for the past five years.
Wangaratta pair Joanne Hughes and Sharyn Werker will represent the North East.
In the other sections, Barwon’s Tony Brushfield will be tough to beat in the men’s seniors, with South West’s Fairlea Lamond the No.1 seed for the women.
Byawatha’s Lisa Beck, who will compete in the women’s seniors, shapes as one of the North East’s best chances of success at the event.