Sharks, Chargers win ATL Queensland conference
The Shaw Park Sharks and Tennis Brisbane Chargers have won the inaugural Queensland Conference final of the Asia-Pacific Tennis League.
The Shaw Park Sharks and Tennis Brisbane Chargers are the first teams to qualify for the Asia-Pacific Tennis League (ATL) final to be held at the Australian Open in Melbourne from 22-24 January 2013.
Both teams were victorious at the ATL Queensland conference final, staged in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Griffith University Tennis Centre on Friday night.
The Sharks women’s team was triumphant over the Beenleigh Blaze 5-1, although the Blaze got off to a great start with team captain Shannon Golds defeating Sharks spearhead Rachel Tredoux 4-2 4-2.
The Sharks quickly bounced back though, with Lyann Hoang continuing her great form from throughout the competition with a straight sets victory over Taylor Douglas 4-1 4-1. Impressive 14-year-old Lizette Cabrera was next on court for the Sharks and defeated Blaze No.2 Elizabeth James 4-1 4-0.
Ashling Sumner rounded out a great singles performance from the Sharks defeating Gold Coaster Kimberly Birrell 4-0 4-3. The Sharks completed the team victory when Sumner and Cabrera combined to defeat Golds and Kimberly Birrell 4-1 4-3.
The Sharks were ecstatic with their victory and looking forward to taking on the winners of the other ATL conferences in Melbourne.
“It was a tough night against the Blaze who have a very strong line-up. Our strength throughout the competition has been our depth and that was the case again tonight. Even though we are a young team I feel that we can compete well at the final in Melbourne,” said Sumner.
The Chargers were victorious in the men’s competition by defeating rivals the Tennis Brisbane Tornadoes 6-0. Despite the one-sided score line, each of the singles rubbers were tight affairs.
Chargers leader Michael Look won a crucial opening match against Tornadoes captain Isaac Frost. Look won a sudden death point at 4-all in the third set tie-break to win the match 3-4 4-2 4-3. In the other singles matches on the night, Chargers captain Robert Smeets defeated Kaden Hensel 4-3 4-1. Gavin van Peperzeel (Chargers) remained undefeated for the competition with a 4-1 4-3 victory over Tornadoes player Leon Frost.
The Chargers will be bolstered for the final in Melbourne by the return of Australian No.5 and Chargers team member John Millman.
Millman was away from the final in Japan competing at an ATP Challenger event, where he made the semifinal. Team captain Robert Smeets felt the team would enjoy the final in Melbourne.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed the entire ATL Queensland conference. Each of the hosting clubs have done a great job and put on a nice atmosphere for all of the players,” he said.
“I feel we can certainly give the competition a good shake down in Melbourne. John Millman will certainly boost our squad as he is currently in great form. We won’t be the favourites but we look forward to taking on the other teams.”
The final positions for each team in the Queensland conference were as follows:
1) Shaw Park Sharks
2) Beenleigh Blaze
3) Toowoomba Tigers
4) Sunshine Coast Breakers
5) Tennis Brisbane Chargers
6) Tennis Brisbane Tornadoes
1) Tennis Brisbane Chargers
2) Tennis Brisbane Tornadoes
3) Beenleigh Blaze
4) Shaw Park Sharks
5) Sunshine Coast Breakers
6) Toowoomba Tigers
For further information on the ATL and for full results, please visit http://www.tennis.com.au/competitions/asia-pacific-tennis-league.