VICTORIA’S best country tennis players, from juniors to open and masters, will battle it out on Creswick courts this summer.
Mt Prospect District Tennis Association is preparing to host the Tennis Victoria Inter-Regional Country Tennis Championships the next two years.
This summer will be the first time in more than 35 years the Central Highlands region will host the hotly contested tournament from January 3-5.
Central Highlands region delegate Jenny Jolliffe said this would be the biggest, most prestigious event to hit Creswick and was fantastic reward for the Ballarat district’s tennis.
“Every region tries to bring their best players – two male and two female in each age group, playing singles, doubles and mixed – so there’ll be some very,very good tennis played,” Jolliffe said.
“We’re expecting really good (entry) numbers too, because Ballarat and Creswick is so central to the state for everyone to get here.”
Key criteria for hosting the championships is that it is to be played on grass courts.
Mt Prospect, with 16 of its 29 courts boasting a grass surface, is the primary grass venue in the region.
Jolliffe said most people might not even realise so many magnificent grass courts there were in Creswick.
The championships will showcased top tennis players from 11 country regions across the state: Mornington Peninsula, Central Gippsland, East Gippsland, the North East, Goulburn, Loddon Campaspe, Northern Mallee, the Wimmera, Glenelg and Barwon.
Central Highlands will draw on players from Bacchus Marsh to Maryborough and Ararat to Ballarat central.
Regions will contest under-12, 14, 16, 18, open and over-45s.
Jolliffe said Mt Prospect had hosted a few cup, including the FitzGerald Cup that will held at Ballarat Regional Tennis Centre this summer, but the Inter-Regionals were a whole other level – and Central Highlands was fortunate to host it for the next two years.