Players were forced to fight through hot and sweaty conditions in the search for Mount Gambier and District Tennis Association glory on the Olympic Park courts on Saturday.
Whilst Glencoe held a great winning record over Centrals/Uniting Church in Division 1 throughout the season, the grand final proved to be a thriller with the result swinging in underdog’s favour this time.
There were some great performances throughout the day, with the clash between Jade Delaney (Centrals/Uniting) and Jorja Mitchell (Glencoe) a standout.
Delaney looked certain to take the win when leading 5-3, however, Mitchell did not give up and stretched the match into a tiebreaker.
The tiebreaker had plenty of long rallies before Mitchell took the win 10-8 and kept Glencoe right in the mix.
Jorja’s brother Patrick put in a strong performance for the runners-up, defeating Mark Heemskerk, while Glencoe veteran David Boyce also performed well in his final appearance on the court after announcing his retirement.
For Centrals/Uniting, Andrew van den Hurk defeated long-time rival Dylan Childs 6-1, although the score did not reflect how close the match really was, with plenty of gruelling rallies in the hottest part of the day.
Casey Walker was the standout for the premiers, winning all three of her matches, including a tough 7-5 win over Laura Edwards and two dominating performances in the doubles.
Centrals/Uniting proved every game is worth fighting for, taking the trophy by just five games.
With these two teams not playing throughout the season due to some rounds being cancelled during COVID restrictions, no one really knew what to expect in the Division 2 decider between West Gambier Red and Glencoe Gold.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Glencoe Gold suffered a huge blow in an singles match, with Ruth Thami retiring injured and unable to compete.
That put Glencoe Gold down three sets to zero and despite their best efforts, they could not quite bridge the gap with West Red, going down seven sets to five.
Glencoe put in a couple of dominating singles performances thanks to Sam Auld, David Cole and Cassie Edwards.
However, Josef Marzouk led from the front for the winners, taking out all three of his contests to ensure West Red took out the premiership.
Glencoe/Centrals was always going to find the Division 3 grand final with Mount Gambier tough.
However, they managed to sneak a little closer than last time, but it was not quite enough, eventually going down by just two sets.
Gambier’s consistent leader Lucy Clarke proved she could perform under pressure throughout the final winning all three sets on the day.
Ben Kerin also put in a super effort for the victors in the singles, while Glencoe/Centrals’ shining light was Tyler Johnston winning both his singles and doubles.
As predicted, the mixed doubles clash between Mount Gambier Blue and Glencoe was extremely close.
Mount Gambier Blue came out on top, but only just 3-31 to 3-29.
After Gambier trailed all day, Renae Cameron partnered up with Angus Hopgood to take on Glencoe’s Koby Cole and Cathy Meyer in the deciding set.
The match was very tight and with the premiership on the line, the Gambier pair took the win 6-4.
Meanwhile, Uniting Church defeated Reidy Royal – 5-36 to 1-17 in the Ladies doubles competition.
Pacesetters Uniting Church showed nerves would not get the better of them and took out the premiership with a convincing five sets to one win over Reidy Royal.
Michelle Coote and Bernadette Nash were the only pair to taste success for Reidy Royal, which missed its number-one player.
The tennis action continues this Saturday with the Lakes Junior Tennis season finishing with the grand finals at Olympic Park.
First serve takes place tomorrow night from 6pm with West Gambier taking on Mil Lel/Suttontown/Mt Schank for the A Girls title, while Reidy Park and Mil Lel collide for the A Boys trophy.
The respective B Boys and Girls grand finals are Mount Gambier v Reidy Park and Mil Lel v West Gambier.
C, D and E Grade boys and girls all take place at the same venue on Saturday morning.