Ipswich aces weather hurdle to run top tournament
TENNIS: Ipswich coach and tournament director Zac Remar jokes his team had to "pull a rabbit out of the hat'' to complete the latest junior championships at One Mile.
With major weather issues on Saturday, half a day's play was lost in the Ipswich Junior Open at the George Alder Tennis Centre.
However, Remar and his support staff did a terrific job rescheduling games to get the Silver status three-day event finished on Sunday.
"There was a lot of really positive feedback on the clay courts,'' Remar said.
"Some said they were the best clay courts they'd ever played on.
"It's always a team effort. A lot of effort went into the courts.''
Despite the ever-present threat of weather interruptions, Remar was confident next year's Ipswich Junior Open would be even bigger given the fantastic support for this year's event.
The championships attracted 290 players and 360 entries for the 18 singles and doubles boys and girls events.
Many of Queensland's top juniors contested the age groups from 10 and under to 18 and under.
"We had too many entries that couldn't fit in this year because it was so full,'' he said.
With more time to plan, he said that augured well for Ipswich hosting the tournament in future.
Being busy overseeing the event, Remar said it was hard to single out individual highlights.
However, he was impressed to see young doubles player Ethan Farlie battle through a shoulder injury to win the title with Ipswich teammate Louis Baker.
"He won the doubles tournament serving under-arm in the 18's boys, which was tough,'' Remar said.
"It was the second last match of the whole weekend to finish and he played the entire tournament with a busted shoulder.''
Ethan and Ipswich Grammar School student Louis were second seeds in the 18 and under doubles draw.
Remar said although organisers can't control the weather, they can be well prepared and ready to make scheduling adjustments as were needed on Saturday.
He said lessons were always learnt, including working hard to keep the communication up with the parents during the challenging rain periods.
However, he was pleased the tournament was completed with the extra issues.
"We had to reduce some of the scores for the match but we still got it finished,'' the Top Tennis Academy coach said.
"In the end, the event was run, it did finish and we did play all the events. We didn't have to cancel any of the age groups.
"We managed to somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat. We didn't think we were going to be able to do that (when the poor weather rolled in).''
The next major event on the George Alder clay courts is the Ipswich Open Gold AMT (senior) tournament set down from May 10-14.
2019 Ipswich Junior Open winners and runners-up
Boys singles: 12 and under - Gautham Santhosh (1), Aleksander Franko (2).
14 and under: Michael Kokkins (2), Timothy Yeung-Packer (5). 16 and under: Billy Bougoure (2), Kobe Diaz (4).
18 and under: Jack Mccarthy (1), Jacob Bradshaw (3).
Girls singles: 12 and under - Tahlia Kokkins (1), Nicola Schoeman.
14 and under: Jemma Gossow (1), Lily Taylor (2).
16 and under: Tianyu Dong (4), Arabella Barnett (3).
18 and under: Sydney Stone (3), Cassidy Mataia.
Boys doubles: 12 and under - Asher Brownrigg/Noah Brownrigg (2), Aleksander Franko/Oliver James King (1).
14 and under: Kaito Nelson/Timothy Yeung Packer (1), Rodney Peyasi/Christopher Sousou (2).
16 and under: Billy Bougoure/Max Nahrung (1), Charlie Such/Ethan Takac (2).
18 and under: Louis Baker/Ethan Farlie (2), Alec Braund/Sin-Huai Ko.
Girls doubles: 12 and under - Helena Guan/Kara Nguyen (2), Mariselle Botha/Nicola Schoeman.
14 and under: Jemma Gossow/Lily Taylor (1), Alexis Melov/Bella-Grace Melov.
16 and under: Jasmine Cherry/Tianyu Dong (2), Kaitlynn Hart/Cassidy Mataia (1).