It was a scorching start to the Victorian Junior Grasscourt Championships in near 40-degree heat at Wodonga Tennis Centre on Wednesday.
Entries received a late spike to 215 with the Victorian border opened to regional NSW at the start of the week and tournament director Doug Smith has been pleased with the quality on display in tough conditions.
Play was abandoned in the afternoon of day one.
"Tennis Victoria has allowed some players who had withdrawn because of the COVID restrictions and border closures back into the tournament under special circumstances," Smith said.
"A couple of players have come back into the draw.
"Even if we get hit by the heat, we've got a lot of space available over the next couple of days to finish the tournament."
ALSO IN SPORT:
Organisers of the event must follow strict guidelines with extreme heat.
If the wet-bulb globe temperature (WGBT) exceeds 30 degrees, an environmental assessment will be undertaken and consideration given to a reduction of the match format at the completion of the current set for matches in progress, or all sets for matches which are yet to commence.
When the WGBT reading exceeds 32.5 or the ambient air temperature exceeds 36, matches in progress shall be suspended at the completion of the current game, and, new matches must not commence until the WGBT is less than 32.5 or the ambient air temperature is less than 36 for 16 and under events.
For 16 and over tournaments, the ambient limit is 38 degrees.
Smith said it had been a challenging lead-up to this year's event with a lot of uncertainty around travel due to the border closure.
"It was more of the fact a lot of seeded players had withdrawn which changed a lot of things," he added.
"None of the draws were re-done, it was just the seeded players were moved around and unseeded players were seeded again because no main draws were done."
Albury's Jade Culph got away to a strong start with two straight sets victories in the open men's singles.
Culph made light work of his first match with a 6-0, 6-0 salute against Dylan Wijayakoon, which was followed by a hard-fought 6-3, 6-2 result against Lachlan Hewitt.
Patrick Fitzgerald, the son of seven-time grand slam doubles winner, John, was forced to withdraw from Albury's Margaret Court Cup, where he was due to play with Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge, but started the Wodonga tournament strongly with wins against Charlie Prest (6-2, 6-2) and Sean Flanagan (6-1, 6-0).
He's set to team up with Culph in the open men's doubles, which starts on Thursday.