31 December 2020 | Tennis West

As the year comes to a close, it’s been wonderful to reflect on all that was achieved in tennis in WA throughout 2020.

Whilst the local impact of COVID-19 was considerably less by comparison to other states, territories and countries across the globe, we remain incredibly proud and grateful for all that was achieved in tennis in Western Australia in spite of the challenges and limitations imposed by the pandemic.

What follows below is the Tennis West year in review. An opportunity to both celebrate and recognise the achievements of everyone involved in delivering on yet another wonderful year of tennis in WA.

Tennis in WA 2020, the year in review:

• The inaugural ATP Cup Perth attracted more than 58,000 people to RAC Arena
• World No.1 Rafael Nadal led the charge for Team Spain in Group B of the ATP Cup, whilst Team Russia were led by World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev in Group D
• Hosted by the Bunbury and Busselton Tennis Clubs, the 2020 Australian National Seniors Championships were a huge success with more than 1000 competitors hitting the courts for the team and individual events.
• The all new Open Court Sessions were rolled out across 86 WA clubs with WA accounting for 16% of all registrations across the country
• The WA tennis community rallied together in support of Tomio and Kimie Yamazaki at the sudden passing of their 15-year-old son, Kent Yamazaki, who was preparing for an ITF event in Nepal when he fell unconscious and hit his head on the court. Tragically, Kent never regained consciousness.
• Astra Sharma earnt herself an AO Women’s Singles main draw spot and followed with a strong return to the Mixed Doubles event, finishing as a semifinalist with John-Patrick Smith
• Maddison Inglis started the year with a win at the Burnie International, followed by a maiden Perth Tennis International title securing her a career high Singles ranking of World No. 112
• Storm Sanders also enjoyed success early in 2020 with Doubles titles at the Burnie International and Hua Hin Thailand International
• WA’s Doubles specialist, Jess Moore, retired from the professional circuit with an impressive 33 Doubles titles and career high Doubles ranking of World No. 52 (2019)
• Casey Dellacqua joined in all of the action of the Festival of Tennis which saw more than 2,000 people attend the State Tennis Centre for a day of fun tennis activities, giveaways, children’s entertainment and opportunity to watch the semifinals of the Peth Tennis International
• Spanish twin sisters, Vanesa Gonzalez and Silvia Gonzalez-quiñones, opened Padel Perth Reabold, at Reabold Tennis Club
• Tristan Schoolkate joined the Australian Davis Cup team as the groups Orange Boy for the World Group Qualifying event in Adelaide
• The SunSmart Schools Tennis Classic saw more than 500 students participate in match play competitions across the state
• New Book-A-Court venues opened at Blue Gum TC, Nedlands TC, Allen Park TC and Kelmscott TC taking the total number of WA Book-A-Court venues to 23
• COVID-19 hit impacting the normal operation of clubs and coaching businesses and the social and competitive participation of players. Fortunately for WA clubs, coaches and players, the impact was relatively short lived
• A trailblazer of her time, Tennis West Life Member and Former President, Ms Andrea Mitchell, passed away after a long battle with illness
• A remote celebration of National Volunteers Week took place with feature stories, videos, a multitude of media attention and a thank you video message from the Tennis West team
• Reports showed unprecedented growth in court bookings for the month of May, with comparative data showing growth of more than 140% across West Australian Book-a-Court venues
• Professional tennis returned to Australia with satellite UTR Pro Tennis Series events hosted in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
• Grand Slam Champion and Doubles expert, John Peers, claimed the first UTR Pro Tennis Series event in Perth with College graduate, Scott Jones, going on to claim the titles of the second and third events
• The ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquet Roadshow kicked off at Duncraig Primary School, with the schools’ Pre-Primary students the first in students in Australia (2020) to receive the brand new racquets
• Through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) the State Government announced significant Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF) funding for the Leederville and Cuballing tennis clubs
• WA’s Astra Sharma, Maddison Inglis, Storm Sanders and John Peers headed to the US Open with all players going on to play at Roland Garros
• The first of 25 Females in Tennis Development Camps planned to be rolled out across the country, took place in Albany with 28 young girls taking to the courts of the Lawley Park TC
• Storm Sanders hits a career high Doubles ranking of World No. 65
• Tennis Australia joined eight sporting bodies and committed to implementing governance that supports a greater level of inclusion for trans and gender diverse people in sport
• Our dedicated volunteers were celebrated and recognised with a cocktail event at the South Perth Community Hall
• Member Associations and Tennis Australia collaborated to develop the eight pillars of Thriving Tennis Communities (TTC). WA led the country completing 24 pilot club action plans (22 metropolitan and 2 regional) which aim to develop a collaborative action plan for clubs
• The inaugural season of the South West Junior League kicked off with teams from Bunbury, Margaret River, Busselton, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown and Donnybrook travelling across the South West to compete each week
• In partnership with the Healthway Tennis for Everyone Program, Tennis West joined Blind Sports WA in bringing the game of tennis to the blind low vision community of Western Australia with sessions at Manning and Nollamara TC’s
• With players from 61 unique metropolitan clubs contesting 31 Tennis West Summer Leagues, more than 7,000 players from a record 1,027 teams registered for the 14-week 2020/2021 summer season
• More than 280 Pre-Primary students from across the South West received brand new racquets as part of the ANZ Tennis Racquet Roadshow
• Busselton TC hosted the D’Arcy Slater Cup and Women in Tennis Foundation Cup junior tournaments with more than 80 regional players from the Midwest, Upper Great Southern, Lower Great Southern, Great Southern, South West, Central Districts, Pilbara and Eastern Districts, contesting the prestigious titles. The South West Zone claimed both titles for the second year running.
• The 2020 Tennis West AGM was held with Ms Jan Truscott and Mr Colin Napier elected to the Board by the Members (clubs). Following the AGM, the Nominations Committee appointed Mr Gwyn Dolphin and Mr Rod Van as Board appointed Directors
• At the 2020 Tennis West AGM, longstanding WA tennis stalwarts, Ray Collins and Wayne Firns, were named as Life Members
• Almost 1,000 primary school students took part in five Red Ball Gala events ran across both metropolitan and regional WA
• WA’s tennis legend, Lesley Hunt, features as part of the ‘Locker Room’ exhibit at the brand new WA Museum Boola Bardip
• Tennis West committed to the development of the organisations Reflective Reconciliation Action Plan. In addition, Tennis West announced its partnership with Murlpirrmarra Connection who will act as the sport’s indigenous delivery partner for the provision of tennis opportunities across metropolitan, regional and remote Western Australia
• Billie Jean King Cup Captain, Alicia Molik, attended the inaugural Alicia Molik Schools Challenge to present the winning teams, Applecross Senior High School and Newman College, with their trophies
• Tennis West joined the students of John XXIII College in celebration of International Day of People with Disability with a showcase of wheelchair and vision impaired tennis
• Students from the Holland Street School in Geraldton participated in five weeks of coaching lessons all thanks to Tennis Australia’s three-year partnership with the Movement Disorder Foundation (MDF)
• The Tennis West team again pledged their commitment to Movember, raising more than $5,000 and moving more than 4,300kms during the month of November. Special mention to Jarron Kretschmann of Sun City Tennis Academy who committed to shaving his moustache and beard of seven years in support of the teams’ efforts
• Replacing the annual December Showdown, more than 110 of the state’s junior tennis players competed in the UTR Junior State Performance Championships across 12/u, 14/u, 16/u and 18/u events
• Open to players by invitation only, seven West Australian high performance athletes including Jessie Culley, Talia Gibson, Maddison Inglis, Derek Pham, Taylah Preston, Tristan Schoolkate and Zach Viiala, were invited to join the National Tennis Academy (NTA)
• The coaching team kept busy throughout the year delivery an array of courses including Community Coaching, Junior Development, Females Community Coaching and Pre Service Teacher training courses
• Thanks to the ANZ, more than 2,500 WA Pre-Primary school students received brand new ANZ Tennis Hot Shots racquets
• Thanks to the combined investment of the State Government (CSRFF funding), Tennis Australia (NCR funding), Local Governments and Tennis Clubs across WA; Tennis has seen more than $6M worth of tennis infrastructure projects commenced or completed throughout 2020
• Astra Sharma and Maddison Inglis received early Christmas gifts from Tennis Australia, awarded an Australian Open women’s singles main draw wildcard entry. John Peers will partner with New Zealand’s Michael Venus in the men’s doubles main draw, with Storm Sanders pairing with fellow Aussie Arina Rodionova in the women’s doubles draw
• Headed to Doha, Qatar for the men’s singles qualifying event at the beginning of January are Matt Ebden and Tristan Schoolkate with Storm Sanders travelling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the women’s singles qualifying event

Watch here for the Tennis West year in review photo compilation: