The Stawell Tennis Club Friday Night Competition, bought to us by David O'Jones Mitre 10, got its season underway with an exciting new format, an abundant of fresh faces, but also some familiar one's, who haven't graced the courts in close to twenty years.
There was no shortage of rust, but this was overshadowed by the unbridled enthusiasm of players returning to the courts after the delayed start to the season.
The Stawell Mitre 10 A1 competition started ominously, with club champion Blair Hart serving down an ace on the first point of the evening, and never looking back from there, leaving his three opponents licking their wounds in winning all three sets convincingly.
Shane Field will make the step-up next week, following his three victories in the A2's, while Scott Bohner's return to the court wasn't the fairy-tale we all hoped for, although he can take some solace from his tie-break victory in the last set.
In the A1 ladies, top seed Amy Millar didn't skip a beat back at the club, just pipping youngster Elise Monaghan and the ever-improving Carel Chang for top honours.
The Findex B2 ladies was a hotly contested affair, with Cass Coffey, Emily Davis and Erin Freeland unable to be separated, all ending up on 14 games for the evening, however due to Coffey's higher ranking, she will now take on the challenge of the A1's in next week's round of matches.
Despite a couple of subs, the B3 men enjoyed some tight tussles, with Scott Carey filling in admirably and taking home the chocolates by the barest of margins over Malcolm Raggatt and Glenn Troeth, while in the B4's it was Evert Grobellaar who showed his opposition a clean pair of heels, in what could only be described as, high quality, entertaining tennis.
The Delahunty Plumbing C5 men's saw some one-sided affairs, and despite having one blemish on the scorecard, Andrew Bolzon did enough to mark his return to Friday Competition a success and will now get his shot at the B4's next week.
In the C6's, the elder statesman of the group, Michael Mitchell, made a stunning return to the courts, accounting for a host of junior challengers, and earning the right to take on some more experienced adversaries next round.
In the C3 ladies, it was four promising juniors who went back and forth all night, but it would be Jemima Harney's star who would shine the brightest, continuing where she left off last season, in just holding on from Alana Graveson, Lexi Collins and Sophie Hutton.
The Farrers Tyrepower D4 ladies saw hard hitting youngster Lara Troeth comfortably account for her shell-shocked opposition, landing blow after blow on her way to 6-0, 6-4, 6-2 victories and will relish the step up to C3.
The D7 men saw Noah Wineberg use his length to full advantage, being the dominant player on the night, winning all three matches, while a number of the clubs future talent was on display in the D8's, with many of them making the step up from juniors and enjoying playing under the Friday Night lights, with Jacob Dunn the pacesetter, winning all three matches.
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