Clark shines in Ballina tennis comp
Local players featured prominently in the annual Ballina Tennis Club AMT Open tournament played last week.
Louis Clark from Byron Bay lost a hard-fought men’s singles final against the number-one seed and more highly ranked Oliver Casey from Melbourne 6–4, 2–6, 1–6.
‘He is 24 and bigger and stronger than me,’ Louis said.
‘I went out strongly and won the first set. It was probably my best set of tennis all week,’ he said.
As the balls got wetter and heavier, Casey was able to swing ‘the momentum around, and he won the last two sets,’ Louis said.
Four Ballina club members contested the men’s B-grade doubles final with Jai Rowe and Dwayne Smith convincingly defeating Frank Schultheiss and Ian Clark 6–0, 6–3.
Rob Kowalski went down in the B-grade singles to Leigh Shepherd of Murwillumbah 2–6, 1–6.
In the younger grades, Oscar Parker from Suffolk Park beat Mullum’s Amadeus O’Connor 6–1, 6–4 in the 12 years and under boys consolation final, while Amadeus’ club mate Quincy Khan was runner-up in the 10 years and under boys.
The ladies singles final was an all Queensland affair with number two seed Ella Husrefovic from Brisbane defeating the Gold Coast’s Tiana Windbuchler 6–4, 6–3.
Tiana had upset the number-one seed Megan Smith from Brisbane in the semifinal.
During the tournament close to 200 matches were played at the main venue in Ballina, and at the two Alstonville venues over the first two days of the tournament.
Louis Clark was playing in the Tweed tournament this week, where he is the number-one seed. By Tuesday he had played his way to the third round.
Last year Louis won the Queensland State Under 18 Championships and plans to dedicate the next couple of years to pursuing a career in tennis.
‘If it doesn’t work out I can go to uni as a mature age student,’ he said.