Macclesfield Tennis Club

Macclesfield-Echunga wins 2014 AO Blitz

27 January 2014 |

Stanislas Wawrinka had the Macclesfield-Echunga community on the edge of their seats as he claimed his first Australian Open crown.

The town was cheering for Wawrinka in the AO Blitz competition and gathered to watch the match together at the Macclesfield Sporting Complex.

“It was a rowdy night, everyone was quite excited,” said Macclesfield Tennis Club vice-president Peter Baraglia.

Baraglia admitted to a few nerves as an injured Rafael Nadal took the third set. Wawrinka held strong in the fourth set to claim the title and win the AO Blitz for Macclesfield-Echunga.

“It is very surreal, we still can’t believe what happened,” he said. “Everything just fell into place.”

“The AO Blitz has been a good ride, as I’m sure it was for all towns. We were just lucky to get Stan. It started as a bit of fun and has been like a merry-go-round, lots of highs and lows.”

The small community wins a town party, while Baragia gets an AUD$10,000 ANZ Advantage Access account as the town’s highest individual point scorer.

Baraglia said he planned to donate some of his winnings to the tennis club and use the rest for a family holiday.

“My wife has suggested to we go to Switzerland seeing as Stan won for us,” he said.

Baraglia said the Macclesfield Tennis Club was the biggest winner from the competition. It has 50 members and celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

“All the club members got into it and enjoyed it,” he said. “It has been an experience and injected so much enthusiasm into our club, it has given us a new lease on life.”

Nadal was representing the New South Wales town of Kendall in the AO Blitz.

Kendall Tennis Club president Wendy Hudson said 200 members gathered at their club to watch the final.

“I was overwhelmed with the support. We played Rafa’s personal message to the town on the big screen just before the match started and the reaction was just awesome,” she said.

Hudson described watching an injured Nadal battle through the match as ‘gut-wrenching’.

“Our hearts were going out to him. When he won that third set, our whole community stood up and clapped,” she said.

Hudson said the community, which had finished as the top-ranked town nationally, still considered itself a winner despite Nadal’s loss.

“It has been amazing and we were the number one town, you can’t beat that,” she said.