Banes wins first Australian title in Wollongong
It was maiden success on home soil for fifth seed Maverick Banes as he edged out American Jarmere Jenkins in Wollongong on Sunday.
Maverick Banes has fought off American Jarmere Jenkins to take the Tennis Wollongong International title on Sunday.
“It’s my first title in Australia and my first for two years, so it’s really good to get that one,” Banes said.
The Queenslander was staring down the barrel after Jenkins, the fourth seed, took the opening set in a tiebreaker and served for the match at 5-3. However, he managed to secure the break back and from that point on went from strength to strength, eventually prevailing 6-7(6) 7-5 6-2.
“I played a good game and was able to get back into it,” Banes said of that critical stage of the match. “Every player thinks about the finish line whether they like or not, and being a final there’s some extra pressure, so I knew that if I made him play balls he might give me a little sniff, which he did, and I was able to capitalise and then get on top early in the third set after that.”
Banes entered the final having lost all four previous encounters with Jenkins, including a recent defeat in Brisbane, but said he felt like he had had chances every time they played.
“I was pretty confident going in that if I played well I could definitely stick with him,” he said.
Banes, 24, has been a consistent performer on the Australian Pro Tour this year, with his best results a quarterfinal appearance in both Alice Springs and Cairns.
“I’ve been close this year,” he said. “But beating Blake (Mott, the tournament’s top seed) on Friday gave me a bit more belief.
“The last two times I’ve been in Wollongong I’ve made a semi and a final, so it’s always been a pretty good tournament for me. I like the speed of the courts and the club does a really good job with the players, so it’s pretty enjoyable to come and play here.
“All that together just works for me, I guess.”
Banes will now travel to Blacktown next week to compete in the final event on this year’s Australian Pro Tour calendar.