IT WAS a case of mission accomplished for Brendon Moore, despite being forced to withdraw from the Griffith Australian Money Tournament (AMT) semi-finals last weekend.
However, given much of this year has been wiped out for the former Australian number 24-ranked player due to stress fractures, being able to play at all is a victory.
Moore said it was just good to be playing again, saying at one stage he began to contemplate life after tennis given the severity of his injury.
"That was always in the back of my mind from the time I was diagnosed because it wasn't just a single leg injury as well," Moore said.
"Everyday activities like walking, you're still using your legs and causing more wear and tear, so I did think at one point that it was time to hang up the racquet and start coaching.
"But I filed for a protected ranking through the ATP and they gave that to me for three years, so when that came through, the thought of quitting went out the window.
"So I just used the weekend (in Griffith) to play a few matches to feel my way back into it, I didn't have any real expectations of myself, just to play a few games and be able to move after I finished.
"I pulled up pretty well after the tournament, I withdrew from the semi-final, but it was just a lack of fitness that stopped me, given I haven't been able to do anything for the past few months."
The platinum AMT tournament is one of the highlights of the sport's calendar in the city, with the $10,000 prize-pool bringing some of the best players in the country to the clay courts.
Alex Silcock and Ashleigh Capannolo proved to be the big winners of the tournament, taking home the open men's and women's titles respectively having outclassed quality fields.
Griffith Club coach Cheryl Rawle said while Moore was briefly in town, spectators saw why he has been ranked as one of the best players in the country for years.
"Brendon retired after a long tie-breaker in the semis, but we were treated to a display of every shot in the tennis game with the grace of his slice staying low on the clay," Rawle said.
Griffith's representatives gave a good account of themselves, with Binit Shestha, the youngest local playing, winning his first match in the under 18s before losing to the eventual winner.
Megan Polkinghorne gained valuable Australian ranking points by winning a first-round match against a player ranked 157 places above her, and given the match took two hours to complete, Megan's fitness shone through.
"In the under 18s, Megan played another great two-hour match to lose 7-6, 7-6 in a great spectacle," Rawle said.
"This result placed her fourth in the 18s Megan had to quickly adapt early in the tournament to the heavy hitting of her opponents to stay in the matches.
"Tavis Bergamin and Jack Catanzariti teamed up in the doubles and showed again that Griffith boys can mix it with the best on tour to lose in a super tie-breaker to players that made the final.
"Tavis' great hands at net and Jack's serves complemented each other well."
Catanzariti made the quarter final in 18s and was unlucky to lose to Albury's Ed Benson who made the final, while Bergamin played with an injury that impaired the power of his serve.
"Tavis' innate court sense and touch is right up there with his competitors and his ability to pull the trigger and win the point on the right shot is in a class of its own," Rawle said.
The well-respected coach said the AMT tournament continues to provide a valuable outlet for the club's talented juniors to push their skills to a higher level.
"The overview of this tournament from a local perspective is that our players have had the opportunity to play against top-100 players in Australia," Rawle said.
"From a coach's perspective, the way the Griffith players competed at this level knowing they are up against the odds is very special and their endeavour and standard of play was something they can be very proud of."
Moore thanked the Griffith Club, and in particular Rawle, for her hospitality, during his stay.