Top boost for Ipswich Open
Tennis: The George Alder Tennis Centre courts are "the best they've ever been” ahead of the upcoming Ipswich Junior Open.
That is the word from Top Tennis Academy co-owner Lincoln Remar, after Ipswich was afforded 'Silver' Junior Tour status for the first time off the back of the overwhelming success of the 2018 tournament.
"Last year and in previous years it wasn't a Silver - in-fact it wasn't anything, it didn't have (ranking) points,” Remar said.
"On top of that, this year we have under-12s, 14s, 16s and 18s (age groups). Last year we had just the two events. This time we have five, with Green Ball as well.”
Remar said the ranking points would bring some of the top young tennis stars from South East Queensland and beyond to Ipswich for the event from March 29-April 1.
"There should be a lot coming in from Brisbane, Gold Coast and north as well. Certainly people from Toowoomba will come,” he said.
For some of Ipswich's bright young stars, the opportunity to play a Silver JT on their home patch is something to relish.
"It will be really good for those who play tournaments, because they get a tournament in their backyard and the opportunity to play without all the added travel expenses,” Remar said. "And playing at your own home courts, you know them better than anyone else.”
In previous years the Ipswich Junior Open has run concurrently with the senior field in the annual Ipswich Open.
However due to the added prestige of the Silver JT tag and the resulting influx of nominations, the junior and senior fields have been separated this year.
"On the back of it being so popular last year, (Tennis Queensland) agreed to give us two different weekends to run the tournament which is great,” Remar said.
The Ipswich Open is scheduled for May 10-14.
For those itching to get a final hit-out before play gets underway, Top Tennis Academy has opened its doors for free to tournament participants this week.
"We've decided for every-one who plays in the tournament, if they're entered, the week leading into the event they can ring us and book to use the courts for free,” Remar said.
"It's an awesome opportunity for people to get some last-minute practice in.
"But please call us first, don't just turn up.”
Those who do take up the offer will be greeted with the best playing surface Ipswich has seen in a long time.
"The courts are the best they've ever been. That's a big positive for everyone to be playing on,” Remar said.
"Clay is supposed to be a slower surface, however if it's not maintained it can be the opposite - it can get very slippery.
"Our courts are playing very well at the moment.”