Ballarat AMT competitors fall on first day of tennis competition

BALLARAT competitor Ben Robinson just missed out on making it through to the second day of the Ballarat Open Gold AMT.

Robinson won his first match in the qualifying rounds, but was defeated by Alex Van De Steenoven, eighth seed qualifier in a nail-biting match, 6-2 3-6 6-4. 

The biggest tennis competition Ballarat has seen in decades, the tournament’s qualifying draw began yesterday, with the main draw beginning today at the Ballarat Regional Tennis Centre.

Region representatives Ashleigh Joliffe, Harriette North and Taij Mishma Kumar also won their first matches, but were unable to secure a spot in the main draw. 

Jake Dunn was defeated in his second round by Joseph Colaciello 6-3 6-4.

Other locals Edwin North and Rob Edward Smith were eliminated in the first round.

The women’s singles main draw begins at 8.30am today, with the eight qualifiers decided from yesterday’s elimination rounds.

The men’s singles has one last round of the qualifiers this morning, before starting the main draw later today.

Zoe Hives is the region’s last remaining hope. 

Seeded fourth in the competition, Hives will play her first match in the second round of the main draw at 1pm today. 

Other high-profile competitors have their first match in the tournament today and tomorrow. Sam Groth, the  number one seed for the tournament, will play his first match at 9am tomorrow. 

Today: Men’s singles: qualifying round four 8.30am, round one 11.30am/noon; women’s singles: round one 8.30/9.30/10am, round two 11.30am/1pm; men’s doubles: round one 1pm, round two 3pm; women’s doubles: round one 1/3pm

Tomorrow: Men’s singles: round two 9/9.30/10am, quarter-finals noon; women’s singles: quarter-finals 9am, semi-finals noon; men’s doubles: quarter-finals 2pm, semi-finals 4pm; women’s doubles: quarter-finals 2pm, semi-finals 4pm

Sunday: Men’s singles: semi-finals 9am, finals noon; women’s singles: finals 10.30am; men’s doubles: 2pm; women’s doubles: 2pm