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Albany doubles tennis tournament expands to three days with introduction of junior competition

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Denby Sharpe one of the region’s most talented juniors.
Camera IconDenby Sharpe one of the region’s most talented juniors. Credit: Laurie Benson

This year’s Albany Open tournament has expanded to three days, with the addition of a junior doubles competition on Friday.

The annual Albany Open, run by the Emu Point Tennis Club, normally comprises men’s and women’s doubles on Saturday and a mixed doubles event on Sunday.

The two events will be running again but organisers have added a junior doubles competition to the Open on Friday.

It will be the first time in nearly two decades that juniors have had their own competition in the Open.

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More than 130 players will take to the newly refurbished synthetic grass courts at Emu Point on January 13-15.

Tenterden sisters Clare King and Alex Riggall.
Camera IconTenterden sisters Clare King and Alex Riggall. Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

A strong field of 60 players has been entered for the men’s and women’s A-grade and B-grade division on Saturday.

Friday’s junior event has 40 youngsters nominated, while there are currently 36 entries for Sunday’s mixed doubles.

Albany Open tournament director and long-time player Greg Cook said organisers were thrilled to have juniors back involved in the event.

“We are combining juniors and making it a three-day tournament,” he said.

“The junior tournament has not run at Emu Point since the mid to late 90s.

“There are quite a few juniors in the district and we always want to see kids playing sport.

“We are hoping to make this year’s event a good one. We have very good entries for the senior tournament, it has been well supported.”

Players from as far away as Kings Park will take part while entries have been received from regional areas such as Hyden, Merredin, Tenterden, Kendenup and Manypeaks to go with a host of competitors from the Albany based clubs.

“There is quite a range of areas represented,” Cook said.

“It is basically a round robin competition in seniors.

Greg Cook stretches for a ball.
Camera IconAlbany Open tournament director Greg Cook on court. Mr Cook said they were thrilled to have juniors back and involved in the Open. Credit: Taj Stubber /Albany Advertiser

“Some events will be semifinals and final and others just a final.

“The junior tournament is likely to have a final between the top two teams as well.

“We will be playing finals, people will be playing lots of tennis and enjoying their tennis.

“The event has again had excellent sponsorship from a range of businesses and families.”

Matches start at 8.45am on Friday while the action kicks off at 8am on Saturday and Sunday.

Clare King and Alex Riggall were last year’s women’s A-grade doubles winners for the fifth consecutive time.

Chris Page and Sam Ashenden are the defending men’s A-grade champions while Julie Mellor and Ashenden took out the mixed A-grade doubles division in 2022.

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