Perth WA, Australia, 13 November 2013 | Tennis Australia

The ATL WA Conference exploded into action on the weekend with double header fixtures for both Men and Women rounds 1 and 2. Enjoying balmy weather on Friday evening, the Wembley Wizards hosted the Women’s teams with spectators loving the exciting tennis and an awesome sunset.  The Cottesloe Cubs were a depleted team and were unable to take a set from the City Beach Slammers. The Wizards vs Midland Mad Dogs was a closer affair with the Mad Dogs winning 5 rubbers to 1, but with only a 6 game difference. Joe McCarthy and Cameron Fenner, the coaches of the two teams, embraced the on-court coaching privilege, standing to chat with the players at every change of ends. These teams are all young players and the girls benefited immensely from the opportunity to take advice. Anya Dokic  said after her win over Cassie McCloskey “The format was really exciting, and I had to concentrate so hard that there was no time to get mad”.


At Higgins Park. the fast format meant that before you could say abracadabra the Wizards had beaten the Magic 5 rubbers to 1. Scott Jones, the 15 year old number 1 was the only Magic player to conjure a win, beating Fariz Mohammed 4-3, 4-3.  Zach Itzstein  and James Studdard played the match of the night, with Zach winning 4-1,4-3. In the other match the experienced Peppermint Grove Magpies defeated the young Sorrento Cheetahs, 5 rubbers to 1. Wildcard for the Cheetahs, Marco Benussi from Italy was a valuable addition, beating Louis Corker, 4-0 in the third set.


Sunday dawned with a forecast of 37 degree heat. The host club Midland Mad Dogs were given a walkover as the Cottesloe Cubs suffered too many injuries in State League matches the previous day. The City Beach Slammers overcame the Wembley Wizards 5 rubbers to 1.  Shona Lee, Marisa Gianotti and Brittany Sheed all won their singles matches, then Katy O’Shea and Anya Dokic won their doubles and the last doubles went to a match tie-break with Shona and Sheridan Currie victorious 11-9.


The Peppermint Trees at the Men’s fixture gave the spectators much needed shade while the players sweltered in the heat. This resulted in close matches with the Magpies beating the Magic 4-2 after 3 of the singles matches went to 3 sets, and players needing ice and towels to cope with the heat and short breaks. In the other match the Cheetahs and the Wizards ended up 3 rubbers each and an additional set to the Cheetahs from Marco Benussi’s loss to Darren Slater gave them the overall win.


The oldest number 1 Troy Hargreaves (Wizards, 39 years old), played the youngest number 1 Scott Jones (Magic, 15 years old) in round 2. Their talented shot-making astonished the crowd who remained enthralled until the final set which ended 4-2 to the elder statesman, with much applause from their appreciative fans. The young Jones showed that he has the passion and flair to be a top player.


An even round ended the weekend, leaving much at stake for round 3.