NEARLY 50 players, spanning both junior and senior levels, hit the courts at the Sale Tennis Club for the annual Wellington Gippsland Tennis Association Championships last Sunday.

Kurt Best, vice president of the WGTA, highlighted the promising future of tennis based on the weekend’s high-level play, crediting the quality of coaching across Gippsland.

“There’s some really strong coaching in Gippsland which is benefitting players that are really striving to improve their skills,” he said.

A strong contingent of juniors dominated in their age divisions, as well as the senior events, proving that there is emerging talent in Wellington.

“The juniors that entered in the senior events like the Open Men’s and Women’s, that typically a senior player would take out, for both events to be monopolised by junior players is an indication of the quality at the junior level,” Best said.

Monopolised is a fitting word to describe how specific juniors performed at the championships.

‘Game, set, match Goold’ was a theme of the day, as brother and sister Sen and Mia Goold cemented their championship dominance.

Goold as gold. Brother and sister champions Mia and Sen took out the mixed doubles title.

The siblings are swiftly carving out a reputation in the Wellington tennis scene, and their trophy cabinet will be overflowing after the weekend’s success.

In a rematch of the Under 18 Boys singles final at the Sale Tennis Club Championships held last November, Sen Goold faced young gun Josiah Levchenko.

Levchenko showed his guts by playing up an age group, gaining valuable match experience he’ll call on in the future.

But Goold effortlessly dominated Levchenko, extending his winning record against the youngster who remains one to watch. Sen Goold also disposed of Louis Lazzaro in straight sets on his way to the Men’s Open Championship.

It was a case of Groundhog Day for Mia Goold, who fronted an ambitious Milla Lazzaro in both the Open Women’s and Under 18 Girls events. Goold is no stranger to championship bliss but has also been humbled at the finals alter.

Mia Goold triumphed over Milla Lazzaro in the Under 18 women’s and Open women’s finals.

Goold’s experience proved helpful on Sunday, as she staved off Lazzaro in straight sets in both finals.

The Goold siblings backed up their tremendous day with a win in the Mixed Doubles final.

Although the 2023/24 WGTA season is wrapping up, there is still one round in the Summer Pennant before finals get underway on March 16.

The high-quality play witnessed not only on Sunday but throughout the season, combined with the impressive participation numbers in the junior sections, is encouraging at worst and a tremendous preview of what the future holds for tennis in Gippsland at best.

Other champions for the day were:

Under 10 Singles Champion: Ryder Ferrel

Under 10 Doubles Champions: Lawrence Zhang and Zach Ingram

Under 12 Singles Champion: Ed Ronchi

Under 12 Doubles Champions: Lucas and Lawrence Zhang

Under 14 Singles Champion: Judah Levchenko

Under 14 Doubles Champion: Sam Crouch and Judah Levchenko

Under 16 Singles Champion: Josiah Levchenko

Under 16 Doubles Champions: Sam Crouch and Jay Davies

Graded Men’s Singles Champion: Michael Smith

Family Doubles Champions: Gerrit and Jack Leunig

The Under 18 men’s runner-up, Josiah Lechencko and champion Sen Goold. Photos: Contributed.