GRIFFITH'S young tennis talent was on show last week as the city hosted a $10,000 national clay court tournament.
While their names were not on the winners' list, the local players matched up impressively with some of their much more experienced competitors.
Local up-and-coming player Megan Polkinghorne played solid tennis to make the second round of the main draw after defeating the higher-ranked Richelle Van Ryswyk.
She lost her second match to the Australian number 73, Jaimee Gilbertson.
Polkinghorne also won a round of doubles with Wagga partner Alyssa Saville but the pair were knocked out by eventual winners Gilbertson and Stephanie Yamada.
Thirteen-year-old Annaliese Quarisa was beaten by Gabriella Ruffles, the 18-year-old daughter of famous tennis player Ray Ruffles, in her first-round match.
The men's winner was Australian number 92 Rob Howe, who defeated first seed Nick Horton 6-2, 6-1 in the final.
The highest-ranked woman, Azra Hadzic, took out the women's competition after Ashley Keir retired in the final.
Nick Horton and Dimitri Vidin won the mens' doubles.
A Junior Development Series tournament was held at the same time as the Australian Money Tournament to give local juniors an opportunity to play alongside some of the nation’s future stars.
“The local juniors must have been inspired by the talent around them because they had a big day out,” Griffith coach Cheryl Rawle said.
“There were 70 juniors in the tournament from around the south west region and our players really stepped up to the plate.
“It was great to see them all out there participating, regardless of their results.”
Young local Airlee Savage dominated the 10-year-old competition, not losing a game, while Georgia Robinson came third, Charlie Power fourth and Georgia Barber fifth in her first-ever tournament.
Anna Robinson missed out on a semi-final by just one game in the 12s, while Chloe Whittaker made it through to the semi-finals and surprise packet Lani Granger took out the title.
Tristan Gibbs was far too strong for the boys’ 12-and-under group, not losing a game and winning the final comfortably.
Alison Triggs lifted her game to another level with big improvements in all areas to win her sheet comfortably in the girls’ 14s, with Jessica Draper pushing hard and just missing out on second.
It was a battle of the brothers in the boys’ 14s, with Jordan and Cooper Savage facing off in the semi finals. Cooper dominated, only dropping one game for the day, with Simon Miller finishing third.
Annaliese Quarisa, who played in the AMT as well as the juniors, stepped up to 16s and lost only one game prior to the finals match.
Her stroke production was solid but she missed a few key opportunities to put her opponent away, going down in a high-quality match.
Rawle congratulated the young players on their persistence and courage.
“By the end of their matches they were matching their opponents stroke for stroke,” Rawle said.
“What a wonderful opportunity for players and spectators to be exposed to a great four days.”