Far from the headlines of tennis players in hotel quarantine, Queensland clubs have been quietly getting on with the business of hosting COVID-safe tournaments throughout the school holidays.
Elite Tennis International at Caloundra and Tennis Gear at Nudgee shared the honour and the dates for the resumption of Australian ranking tournaments in Queensland on January 12, following a 10 month hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and necessary protocols.
More than 10 grassroot and pathway tournaments will be held in Queensland in 2021 before the official Australian “summer series” even begins, demonstrating the strength of the tournament landscape across the state.
Tennis Queensland Match Play manager, Marc Wittmann is impressed with the number of players entering competitions already this year.
“We are seeing strong entries at our events. In the first week of tournaments we recorded an increase of participants by 40% compared to last year. Players are really embracing the opportunity to compete again and reap the rewards from all of the training they put in during some of the competition downtime we had in 2020.”
Tennis Queensland Chief Executive, Mark Handley says tennis is coming through the challenges presented to us by the pandemic with creativity, innovation and passion.
“Clubs and tournament officials did a great job last year in providing what they could in terms of competitive opportunities and we have seen new events spring up as a result. There is a pilot teams event happening in the Metro region, the UTR has been embraced by organisers and players and up in the North, there was a new event called, the Covid Cup”, Mr Handley said.
“The tennis community in Queensland is resilient and ready to make the most of the interest in one of the most naturally Covid safe sports there is”.
Elite Tennis International’s Australian Ranking tournament at the Sunshine Coast Regional Tennis Centre attracted players from as far as Rockhampton and New South Wales.
Tournament Director, Matt Deverson, said it was fantastic to be back.
“We got straight back into the routine and everything was back to normal, except for the extra Covid safety measures we had in place like social distancing and scanning in everyone.”
“We had 121 players involved and completed 220 matches and you could see that everyone had really been training hard, they came here sharp and the quality of the finals was right up there”.