Brisbane QLD, Australia, 6 November 2013 | Tennis Australia

The defending men’s and women’s champions will face stern opening round tests in the Asia Pacific Tennis League, QLD Conference when it kicks off Friday night at the Shaw Park tennis Centre.


The Tennis Brisbane Chargers men’s team will look to ignite their campaign for back-to-back titles with a first-round win against the Beenleigh Blaze. The Chargers will be spearheaded by former top 150 ATP singles player Robert Smeets. Joining Smeets will be current ATP ranked singles players Gavin van Peperzeel, Michael Look and Kaden Hensel.


The Blaze will be looking to cause the first upset of the competition with a line up of some of the conference’s most experienced players including Mark Draper, John James and Ben Mathias. Joining the Blaze this year is former French Open junior champion Carlos Cuadrado.


Toowoomba Tigers and Sunshine Coast Breakers men’s teams will also be looking for a strong foothold in the competition as they duke it out in first round action. Both teams have a solid lineup and will be buoyed by a first up win. Former collegiate player Hugh Clarke will pull on the Tigers uniform for the first time and will be joined by former leading QLD juniors Josh Barrenechea and Mark Richards, whilst the Breakers will rely on Sunshine Coast local Calum Puttergill and former top 50 ATP doubles players Peter Tramacchi and Andrew Kratzmann.


In what looks to be the feature men’s match of the night, home side – the Shaw Park Sharks – will take on newly formed ATL franchise the Tennyson Volt. The Volt will look to their captain Maverick Banes to see off a well-rounded Sharks outfit consisting of ATP ranked singles players Logan Mackenzie, Steven de Waard and Junior Davis Cup representative Oliver Anderson. Former college tennis player Daniel Dossetor, player/manager David Hodge and Scott Puodziunas, will join Banes.


On the women’s side, the defending champions the Shaw Park Sharks begin their title defence in what will be a blockbuster rematch of last year’s conference final against the Beenleigh Blaze. The Sharks have added Junior Fed Cup representative Naiktha Bains to their side, which breezed through last year’s competition. Joining Bains will be Junior Fed Cup teammate Priscilla Hon and fellow Queenslander Lizette Cabrera. The Blaze will be seeking revenge, and with former top 250 WTA singles player Shannon Stamenovic & Junior Fed Cup representative Kimberley Birrell leading the way, they may well do so.


The Tennyson Volt women will debut on Friday and will be led by former Beenleigh Blaze player Sophie Letcher. Joining Letcher will be former AIS scholarship holders Monika Wejnert and Isabella Holland as they line up against her former team the Toowoomba Tigers. The Tigers have an even team as all have been ranked inside the top 100 in Australia. Cassie Gramlick, Annie Donaldson and Renee Binnie will look to pull the Tigers to victory against a strong Volt team.


Rounding out the action will be the Sunshine Coast Breakers as they take on the Tennis Brisbane Chargers. The Chargers have experience in their roster this year with Deanna Roberts, Helen Parsons and Joanne Fernandes all looking to impress. On the other side, the Breakers will look to their youth as top Australian under 18 players Jaimee Gilbertson, Somer Dalla-Bona and Natalie Rogers take to the court. Former college tennis player Katie Lee will don the Breakers jersey again this year and will no doubt revel in the team format.


Watch all the action as it unfolds in the 2013 conference launch this Friday night, 8th November 2013 from 6pm at the Shaw Park Tennis Centre, Wooloowin. As well as the first-class tennis, enjoy live music, food stalls and plenty of competitions and giveaways to get you part of the action.