Melbourne VIC, Australia, 20 January 2014 | Tennis Australia
Canberra Velocity’s men and women have been knocked out in the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Tennis League finals at Melbourne Park today.
Velocity’s men were unable to continue their run of upsets against the highly-fancied Kooyong Classics, losing 2-4, while Velocity’s women also lost a hard-fought tie against Korea 2-4.
With top seed Alex Bolt unavailable to play after making the Australian Open doubles quarter-finals with Andrew Whittington yesterday, it was up to 19-year-old Canberran James Frawley to lead the charge.
The men’s team got off to a horror start with team manager Alun Jones winning only two games against Daniel Byrnes and Frawley losing his match against Rubin Statham 3-4, 0-4.
However Jake Eames and Robert Howe clawed Velocity’s way back into contention with straight set victories.
Eames beat David Bidmeade 4-3 (5-3), 4-2 and Howe defeated Daniel Nolan 4-3 (5-4), 4-2 to level the tie.
In the doubles, Eames and Jones served for the tie and were unable to convert three match points in the second set against Statham-Byrnes. They eventually lost in a super-tiebreak 4-3 (5-4), 3-4 (4-5), (6-10).
Frawley-Howe also split sets with Bidmeade-Nolan, before losing a nail-biting third-set super-tiebreak 11-13.
In the women’s tie, Velocity’s wildcard player Chanelle Scheepers, ranked 79, proved too strong from the back of the court for So Jung Kim, ranked 514, winning 4-3 (5-0), 4-2 to give Canberra the early advantage.
Korea then levelled the tie when Min Hwa Yu saved a match point in the sixth game of the second set before beating Canberra’s Ashley Keir 1-4, 4-3 (5-1), 4-2.
Alison Bai, ranked 471, put Velocity ahead again with an impressive 4-2, 2-4, 4-2 victory against Sun Jung Kim before Tyra Calderwood lost her match against Ji Hee Choi, ranked 620, 1-4, 4-2, 0-4.
With the tie level at 2-2, Velocity needed to win one of the doubles matches in straight sets to clinch the tie.
However Keir-Calderwood could only manage three games in their match against So Jung Kim-Choi, losing 2-4, 1-4 and Scheepers/Bai went down in a third-set super-tiebreak against Sun Jung Kim-Yu 4-0, 2-4 (7-10).
The men and women will play off for 5th to 8th spot in the competition tomorrow.