New surfaces bring buzz back to Griffith Tennis Club

Tennis

THE Griffith Tennis Club has been "rejuvenated" with the installation of several new surfaces at the Jack Shannon Courts that will receive their first dose of action this weekend.

Three new two-tone synthetic courts were laid down this week and should be completed in time for the gold-level Australian Money Tournament that begins today and wraps up on Sunday.

But in an innovative move, one full-size court has been divided in four to bring Griffith in line with the Tennis Australia-endorsed Hot Shots development program for kids.

Hot Shots tennis involves smaller courts, lower nets and low-compression balls that make it easier for children to hit and encourage appropriate technique.

"The buzz is already starting around the club. The place just looks magnificent," Griffith Tennis Club's Cheryl Rawle said.

"It's a bit of a risk for the committee to go this way with the Hot Shots but I think it's the way to go, to get junior kids into tennis.

"They're a lot easier to learn on and I'd like to think will be more inviting for junior players.

"The whole place just looks rejuvinated."

The Hot Shots courts will be officially opened on Sunday, in conjunction with the Medibank Junior Development Series tournament to be held that day.

Entries have flooded in for the junior tournament and play will begin from 8.30am.

But the main course is the Gold AMT event that will see some of the most promising Australian players outside the professional sphere compete for ranking points and a lucrative prize pool of $7,500.

Four of the visiting players are in the country's top 100 with the number one seed in the open women's division, Sydney's Abbie Myers, ranked number 32 in Australia.

But plenty of locals will line up in the tournament as well, with Megan Polkinghorne and Tavis Bergamin keen to take on the competition in their own backyard.

In the junior sections of the Gold AMT event, aspiring locals Annaliese Quarisa, Alison Triggs, Cooper Savage and Jaidyn Dickie face off against quality opposition before heading off to compete in America next month.

Binit Shrestha is another local who now goes to a tennis school in Melbourne and is expected to be very competitive in the under 18s division.

GRASS IS GREENER: Alison Triggs, 13, Ben Mahlknecht, 11 and Jaidyn Dickie, 15, admire the new surfaces that were laid this week at the Griffith Tennis Club's Jack Shannon complex. Picture: Anthony Stipo

GRASS IS GREENER: Alison Triggs, 13, Ben Mahlknecht, 11 and Jaidyn Dickie, 15, admire the new surfaces that were laid this week at the Griffith Tennis Club's Jack Shannon complex. Picture: Anthony Stipo

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