Weather serves up challenge at Grovedale

Joshua hits a backhand during a UTR competition at Drysdale Tennis Club on Sunday.

Geelong tennis players faced off at Grovedale on Saturday with a small field battling not only their opponents, but the weather too.

The day went to Grace Darcy for her ability to stay over the ball and adjust to its changing flight.

The first match of the Universal Tennis Ranking (UTR) event saw Darcy matched against Tecwyn Griffiths.

Griffiths matched Darcy for the first four games, but Darcy adapted quickly and ran away for a 4-2, 4-0 result.

In the next match Troy Caincross ran through Dan Smith, who struggled with the conditions.

Smith then took on Darcy and continued to struggle in the first set dropping it 0-4, but rallied in the second with some clever placement and shot selection.

Smith still proved too good taking it 4-2.

Caincross had his hands full in the first set against Griffiths, with an 11-9 win in a tie-break.

Despite the conditions, both players served well and matched each other through some lengthy rallies.

With the first set under his belt, Caincross then ran through Griffiths taking the second set 4-0.

The remaining two matches were the best of the event.

Griffiths, in the longest match of the day, took a tight first set against Smith 7-5 in a tie-break, with Smith finding form with some good serving and keeping the ball down.

Through blustery winds and several lashing showers, Smith kept his form in the second set, taking it 4-2 with good serving and ball placement.

Griffiths rallied in the third with some great returning, taking the set 4-2 to clinch the match.

The two unbeaten combatants, Darcy and Caincross served well and had some lengthy rallies and long games in the final match.

The wind seemed not to bother either player as they used the whole court, showing fantastic fitness and court coverage.

In the end Darcy scored a deserved win with the 4-1, 4-1 score belying the quality of the match.

The next day, at Drysdale Tennis Club, juniors faced off in another UTR event.

Twelve players rated in the 0-2.99 band played in the morning with another six in the 3-4.99 band in the afternoon.

Most were Geelong players with a few travelling from Melbourne and Ballarat.

“The weather was perfect for tennis, with the sun shining and no wind,” Tennis Geelong’s junior competition secretary Kerry Humphrey said.

“Matches were very competitive with the players giving their all out on the court. It was a fantastic spectacle for those watching the tennis.”

UTR pits players of a similar rating against each other for competitive match play rather than grouping them by age or grade.

For details: www.myutr.com

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.