Melbourne VIC, Australia, 20 January 2014 | Tennis Australia
Kooyong Classics have advanced to the semis of the ATL Playoffs today after strong wins in their first rubbers.
The RSY Royals started off with a strong win over the New Zealand Tuis. Olivia Rogowska was first to get the Royals on the board with a win over Di Hollands. Tammi Patterson was quick to follow with a win over Emma Hayman. Leading 2-0, Azra Hadzic and Storm Sanders were convincing in their matches giving the Royals the 4-0 win and a spot in the semi finals against Korea.
The Kooyong Classics had a tough battle against the might of the Canberra Velocity. With the loss of John Peers who was playing Australian Open Mixed Doubles, Andrew Whittington who is through to the quarterfinals of the Mens Doubles and Marc Polmans who won his Junior Australian Open match today the Classics were restricted to their four man team of David Bidmeade, Daniel Nolan, Rubin Statham and Daniel Byrnes. Byrnes and Statham were quick off the mark recording straight sets victories in their singles matches. Bidmeade and Nolan though had tougher battles and were defeated in straight sets bringing the match level 2-2.
The match would be decided in the doubles where Bidmeade and Nolan paired up while Statham and Byrnes joined forces. Both Kooyong sides lost their first set and all looked to be over for the Classics until a fight back from Bidmeade/Nolan got them back to a set each. A quick tiebreaker in that match was decided with Bidmeade and Nolan victorious giving Kooyong the edge. All remained on the shoulders of the Statham /Byrnes duo who were clawing back to try and level the match knowing they had more games in hand. It all came down to the sudden death point to rival any other. With scores locked and the deciding point to be served, Canberra Velocity could win the point and therefore win the rubber in straight sets which would also give them the match win. On the other side, the Kooyong Classics could win the point giving them the set, leveling at a set all going into a third set tie breaker and subsequently the win as they had more games in hand. As the crowd sat on the edge of their seats the Statham/Byrnes duo was too strong and took the point, therefore the set, leading to an overall match win. To cement the win the Classics went on to win the tie breaker giving Kooyong a 4-2 win and a spot in the semis.
Both teams will play their semifinals tomorrow. The RSY Royals will meet Korea and the Kooyong Classics will take on the Tennis Brisbane Chargers. Matches will commence from 11am and an Australian Open Ground Pass is required for access.