2 December 2019 | Tennis Victoria

Tennis Victoria Premier League has concluded in incredible fashion with MCC Glen Iris Valley’s men and Kooyong Lawn’s women taking out the titles in front of a bumper crowd on Saturday.

The MCC Glen Iris Valley Tennis Club hosted the grand final, which was attended by friends and family members, including a host of neutral supporters. The runners up, Kooyong Lawn (men) and Beaumaris Lawn (women), put up gallant fights but were out muscled in an entertaining display.

Tennis Victoria Premier League is the state’s highest level inter-club competition, which sees the state’s, and country’s best, take to the courts. The five-week season is place just before the December Showdown commences and is the perfect precursor to the Australian Summer of Tennis.

Ladder leaders, MCC Glen Iris Valley and Beaumaris Lawn had stellar seasons in 2019. For MCC Glen Iris Valley, they were able to secure back-to-back-to-back titles, but Beaumaris Lawn missed the opportunity to claim a fairytale finish to what was a splendid year of Premier League tennis.

The Beaumaris Lawn and Kooyong Lawn match saw the doubles rubbers split. Kooyong Lawn’s Belinda Woolcock and Gabriella Da Silva-Fick were too good for Beaumaris Lawn’s Katherine Westbury and Georgiana Ruhrig, with the rubber finishing 6-1 7-6. A devastating display in the number two doubles rubber saw a 6-2 6-1 victory to Isabelle Papazyan and Belle Thompson over Amy Stevens and Sophie Vickers.

With the tie evenly poised, the singles started with a bang. Belinda Woolcock brought the grand final closer to Kooyong Lawn, dispatching Monique Barry 6-3 6-2. Victorian Junior Athlete of the Year, Amy Stevens then got her opportunity to avenge her doubles result with a 6-2 6-2 win over Isabelle Papazyan. With the tie 3-1 in Kooyong’s favour the remaining singles rubbers started but only need one more set to secure a memorable win. With Gabriella Da Silva-Fick staring at a 5-4 lead, it was her neighbour, Sally Peers that claimed the important set (6-2) sending Kooyong Lawn fans and the team into a frenzy.

The men played a different final that went right down to the wire. MCC Glen Iris Valley and Kooyong Lawn were stocked with talented players, including: Alex Bolt, Marc Polmans, Peter Luczak, Greg Jones and the like.

The doubles rubbers could not be separated and saw both go into match tiebreakers. The rollercoaster matches had Alex Bolt and Matt Reid come from a set down to defeat 2017 Australian Open semifinalists Marc Polmans and Andrew Whittington 4-6 7-5 (10-8). On the next court, Blake Mott and Peter Luczak cruised in the first set (6-2), but soon had a fight on their hands as Jacob Grills and David Bidmeade dug deep to take the second set tiebreaker. An up and down match tiebreak saw the home side just get their nose in front and secured an all-important victory 6-2 6-7 (10-6).

Leading into the singles rubbers with 2-0 lead, the Kooyong Lawn team can surging back. Marc Polmans got his revenge against Alex Bolt and moved him around the court constantly to record a slightly surprising 6-4 6-2 win. Andrew Whittington then charged back from a set down against captain Aaron Addison to level the tie 2-2 with his 3-6 6-4 (10-8). With the tie now levelled up at just after 4pm, MCC Glen Iris Valley’s Blake Mott stepped onto court again Jacob Grills and did what he needed to do, finishing up with a 6-4 7-5 victory.

Peter Luczak and Greg Jones began their match soon after the start of the Mott and Grills encounter, but went game for game until the experienced Luczak found something extra to break Jones and thus what seemed like a grand final winning set. However, the off court mathematicians figured out that the scenario needed Luczak to win only three more games or Jones to win the second set 6-2 and claim the match tiebreaker. The former World No.64 broke early and claimed the required three games.

The win meant MCC Glen Iris Valley defend their 2017 and 2018 titles, and go into 2020 looking for a fourth consecutive championship.

The day also saw some awards handed out, including: ACE, Community Engagement and the Paul Arber Memorial Award.

ACE Award Belinda Woolcock (Kooyong Lawn)
ACE Award Marc Polmans (Kooyong Lawn)
Community Engagement Award Royal South Yarra Lawn Tennis Club
Community Engagement Award Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club
Paul Arber Memorial Award Amy Stevens (Kooyong Lawn)
Paul Arber Memorial Award Marc Polmans (Kooyong Lawn)

Congratulations are extended to the following award winners and the fans and spectators that came out in force to support the Premier League competition.

Special thanks is also extended to My Sport Live and Anytime Fitness for organising the livestream of the event. To watch the 2019 Grand Final again, click here.