SALE Tennis Club put its best foot forward when it hosted the 2024 O3K J125 Sale Open & Junior Event from July 5 to 7.

The -1 degree foggy mornings grew into beautiful sunny Gippsland days as the tournament unfolded over the three days.

Despite persistent rain all the way until 6am last Friday, tournament organisers were still able to start at the scheduled time of 8.30am, proving the worth of the well maintained red porous courts for a winter event.

The Open events were hard fought, with a field of 29 in the Open Men’s including a very pleasing number of Gippsland entrants. However by the ‘pointy end’ of the tournament, it was No. 6 seed Dion Gerbo from Keon Park Tennis Club in Reservoir and No. 5 Seed Keane Chu, originally from the “bulldozed to make way for The Big Build” Boroondara Tennis Centre and now from Melbourne Park, that made up the first semi-final.

Keane won through to the final 6-2, 6-0.

In the other semi-final, it was two unseeded players, 13-year-old Aarya Khore from The Y Leisure City in Epping and Walker Majera, originally from South Carolina in the USA, and now based at Clyde Tennis Club. Aarya won through to the final 6-1, 6-1 having taken out the No. 3 and 8 Seeds in the earlier rounds.

In the final on Showcourt 1, it was Keane who won through 6-2, 6-2 to clinch the title in a high quality game in front of the large crowd in the John Leslie Grandstand.

In the Open Women’s, unseeded 14-year-old, Bianca Hristov from Keon Park Tennis Club, stormed into the final.

Having taken out the No. 1 seed in the second round, she faced the No. 2 Seed, 16-year-old Zahna Assi from The Y Leisure City in Epping. After some great shot making in the final on Showcourt 2, the highly entertaining match ended with a 6-2, 6-1 victory to Bianca.

Sale Tennis Club President, Robin Lowe praised the great work of club volunteers.

“Club coach Jason Yap, as our Tournament Director did a sensational job. The Tennis Australia Tournament Referee was forced to withdraw due to a family tragedy. With no late replacement available Jason had to fill both roles. He did this with a tournament field of 116 players and a fair share of dramas,” Lowe said.

He added that feedback from the players was “universally positive”.

“Other club volunteers ensured the courts, clubhouse and grounds were well prepared, baked homemade treats, served in the canteen, did social media posts and largely ensured that all players and visitors to the club were given a friendly Gippsland welcome.”

“We are immensely proud of all of them.”

The tournament was supported by a Wellington Shire Community Assistance Grant. It is estimated that the tournament brought more than $110,000 to Wellington Shire over the three days of the event.

Full results:

Open Women’s: Bianca Hristov def Zahna Assi

Open Men’s: Keane Chu def Khore

Open Men’s Doubles: Yamaan Bushnaq and Keane Chu def Dereson Kim and Stuart McNeice

10 & Under Boys Singles: Lawrence Zhang def Ryder Ferrel

10 & Under Girls Singles: Ella Liu def Annika Shankar

10 & Under Boys Doubles: Ryder Ferrel and Lawrence Zhang def Ollie Brayshaw and Sebastion Jones

12 & Under Boys Singles: Petar Magic def Eshan Shankar

12 & Under Girls Singles: Sienna Rikken def Kailin Smith

12 & Under Girls Doubles: Amber Chang and Jenny Jin def Charlotte Jurkic and Sienna Rikken

12 & Under Boys Doubles: Henry Grattan and Eshan Shankar def Jiahua Zhang and Shiran Zhou

14 & Under Girls Singles: Bianca Hristov def Mia Mitris

14 & Under Boys Singles: Mohammed Benmin def Aarya Khore

14 & Under Boys Doubles: Sam Huang and Ricky Li def Kutay Erekinci and Kailan Griffin

16 & Under Girls Singles: Zahna Assi def Bella Prince

16 & Under Boys Singles: Saheb Waraich def Peter Kalinovski

16 & Under Boys Doubles: Heath Kamphuis and Noah Keltie def Louis Lazzaro and Andrew Thompson