Crowds flock to Creswick for tennis championships

SPECTATORS lined the courts of Mt Prospect Tennis Association for the 2014 Inter-Regional Country Championships in Creswick today.

Creswick Mayor Don Henderson yesterday opened the event which will see more than 260 players from nine regions around the state compete over three days.

Tournament director Andrew Reynolds said the event was expected to bring 1000 people to the community to watch more than 500 matches.

Showers this morning delayed play for two hours and saw the cancellation of the singles consolation rounds, but Mr Reynolds said improving light at and reduced formats allowed matches to be completed on schedule.

"Past championships have been held in Wangaratta where the finals were washed out and in Swan Hill were players were competing in 40 plus degree heat," Tennis Victoria Country committee chairperson Ken Barton said.

"So even though we had a bit of rain, people are enjoying playing in the milder conditions."

Players were invited to an opening night dinner last night with guest speakers 1968 Wimbledon runner-up Judy Dalton and international tennis star Peter Keller who spoke about their past tournament experiences.

Barwon Heads has won the competition for the past five years with players hoping to make it six in a row.

Will Gardner, back, with Kate Olofsson, Sheree Moore and Bridie Gardner at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Will Gardner, back, with Kate Olofsson, Sheree Moore and Bridie Gardner at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Carla Ralph with seven-month-old Jett Dixon from Shepparton at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Carla Ralph with seven-month-old Jett Dixon from Shepparton at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Fiona Williams of Gordon with nephew Ben Conroy, 9, from Ballan at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Fiona Williams of Gordon with nephew Ben Conroy, 9, from Ballan at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Sophie McPherson 5, with her brother Gary McPherson, 4, from Glenroy at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Sophie McPherson 5, with her brother Gary McPherson, 4, from Glenroy at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Emma Lethlean, 14, with sister Olivia, 7, from Bendigo at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Emma Lethlean, 14, with sister Olivia, 7, from Bendigo at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Andrew Lethlean from Bendigo and Greg Pobjoy from Ballarat at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Andrew Lethlean from Bendigo and Greg Pobjoy from Ballarat at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Jackson Shadbolt from Safety Beach and Brett Kelly from Mornington Peninsula at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Jackson Shadbolt from Safety Beach and Brett Kelly from Mornington Peninsula at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Jandra Keely, Nicole Smith and Jeff Peck from Mornington Peninsula at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST

Jandra Keely, Nicole Smith and Jeff Peck from Mornington Peninsula at Creswick. PICTURE: TALITHA PRENDERGAST