4 Tuesday, 24 January, 2017
A Mail News Group publication
Best in local sport
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Shock loss costly By Derek Schlennstedt
Tennis world number one Andy Murray is representing Mt Evelyn in the Australian Open. 164080
a terrific day," he said. The Grand Slam competition, organised by Tennis Australia, aims to get towns cheering for their allocated player. The initiative gave Mount Evelyn the opportunity to share in the worldwide publicity that the Australian Open attracts.
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nis, no matter their age or ability. “We’re a family-friendly club that welcomes people of all ages and all abilities," he said. “If you’re interested in tennis, or want to get back into playing or even want to start, then come along to the open day.“
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More than 200 towns around Australia entered the ballot and received a player to represent them in the Open. The Mount Evelyn Tennis Club welcomes everyone to come down for the open day, which runs from 9am until 4pm. Mr Smith said that anyone was welcome to come to try their hand at ten-
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“There will be a lot of games - who can serve the fastest, target serving, tennis clinics and, of course, we’ll be playing the tennis final on the television." Murray said there would also be family-friendly activities. “We’ll have face painting, jumping castles and a barbecue; it’s going to be
Mount Evelyn Tennis Club thought it had aced an Australian Open promotional campaign, when drawing World No.1 Andy Murray as its representative in a competition to win $5000 for the club. However, the excitement turned to heartbreak as the crowd favourite lost his match in four sets to Germany’s Mischa Zverev on Sunday 22 January. Incredibly, Zverev was ranked 50 places below the superstar Murray in the world rankings. If Murray had trumped the Australian Open, the local club would have been awarded the funds to go towards improving club facilities and tennis courts. Last year, tennis clubs nationwide offered to host a Free Tennis Day, which earned them elegibility to enter into a ballot and secure a top player to represent them during the Grand Slam event. The Mount Evelyn Tennis Club gained the honour after organising a free open day for this Sunday 29 January, the last day of the Australian Open. After Novak Djokovic lost to Denis Istomin in the second round, Murray had been a hot favourite to win his first Australian Open. Murray Smith, committee member of the Mount Evelyn Tennis Club, said after finding out that Murray was representing them, the whole clubhouse erupted with excitement. “Everyone was pretty pumped about it - we have a lot of young keen tennis players and when we heard that Andy was representing us we were pretty excited,“ he said. “I mean it doesn’t get any better than the world’s best." Despite Murray’s loss, the club is still encouraging the public to turn out to the upcoming Open Day. The event aims to encourage more people to get involved in their local clubs and the sport. Mr Smith said the event would be fun for the whole family. “We want to encourage people to come along to have a look at the local club and what we’ve got on offer,” Murray said.