A Ballarat tennis prodigy has overcome a disastrous first set to claim her first ever AMT singles crown in Melbourne.
The win came as a big thrill for Emily Tinker who defeated nationally ranked Miranda Poile in the final of the 2019 A.S Lodge Easter Classic last week. Speaking with The Courier, the 17-year-old described the win as her biggest yet.
"It was a pretty nice feeling, I've never experienced it and I felt really happy," she said.
"I knew if I kept playing the way I had been throughout the tournament I'd have a chance, but once it was all over it was surreal."
Despite not dropping a set in the preliminary rounds, Tinker had her back against the wall in final after going down 6-0 to Poile in the opening set. But the Ballarat local persevered, taking the second set 6-3 before running over the top of Poile to clinch a super-set tie-breaker 10-1.
Tinker said maintaining a good serve on critical points and hitting deep ground strokes were instrumental in securing a memorable fightback victory.
"I was able to hit my shots deep and really make her move which helped," she said.
"I knew I wasn't playing badly so I just kept to my patterns and eventually she broke down."
The win marked a culmination of almost a decade of hard work for Tinker who began playing tennis at age 8. As a student under Ballarat coach Rob Benoit, her four day a week training schedule has her ranked 144 in the country and fourth overall in her age group.
With the Australian Open hopefully one day in her sites, Tinker will now turn her attention to the Mornington Peninsula Easter Gold AMT on April 19.
Although happy with her latest win, she said she's ready for the next challenge to come her way.
"Everyday there is a new challenge and you never what to expect when you go out there I like giving it my best go," she said.