MATT Hicks and Carolyn McGann have led Barwon’s charge towards a sixth straight team title in the Victorian Country Inter-region Tennis Championships, with the pair claiming the open men’s and women’s singles titles at Creswick yesterday.
Hicks, seeded number two, caused an upset of sorts over teammate and number one seed Adam Lasky in the 6-4 6-3 win, while defending champion McGann defeated Mornington’s unseeded Emma Hall 6-3 6-1.
Although the men’s final looked similar on paper, both Hicks and Lasky were at polar opposites when it came to size and age, with experience and court smarts eventually winning out over sheer power.
Hicks was surprised with the win, given his extended absence from the singles scene.
“I haven’t played singles in the inter-region championships for seven years,” Hicks said.
“I’ve spent most of my time in the past coaching the juniors, which I gives me a lot of enjoyment and is the main reason I get involved.
“I’m 30 and Adam’s only 18 – I’ve known him since he’s been a junior – so it was good to get out there and have a win against a good mate.
Later in the day Hicks and Lasky took out the open men’s doubles, thrashing South West’s Jake Dunn and Matt Moloney 9-0 in the final.
McGann is one of the biggest success stories when it comes to the women’s division at the inter-regional championships, but was made to work harder than the score line suggested.
She now has five open women’s titles, with the other victories coming in 2006, 07, 10 and 13.
“The conditions were tough out there – it was very windy and I just tried to put her (Hall) on the back foot by using a lot of slices,” McGann said.
“It’s nice to get another title, you never know what to expect each year because there are so many good younger girls coming up.”
Hicks and McGann also took out the open mixed doubles title, defeating Lasky and fellow Barwon player Romona Mataruga 9-5 in one of the final matches of the tournament.