Semi-Final Victories!

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Semi-Finals @Collaroy

A great day at Collaroy last Saturday (26 August) with both the Collaroy Tennis Club Ladies Div. 1 and Men’s Div. 9 teams winning their respective Sydney Badge Semi-Finals!

(A post from guest blogger, Sacha Bradford)

The Sydney Badge comp. is a Sydney-wide inter-club doubles competition run by Tennis NSW. It has a long history and is highly regarded for the quality of tennis it provides.

There was tension in the Ladies match as the top teams played for almost three hours in perfect conditions. In fine weather, and even better form, the women played with flair, fitness, technique and brilliance. Tennis NSW (Tennis Operations & Pathways) representatives Jaslyn Hewitt-Shehadie and Chloe Hule were on the sidelines watching on, flanked by dozens of supporters of both the Collaroy and Longueville teams. Among the signature shots of the Collaroy girls on both courts were long cross-court backhand rallies, jump shots at the net and excellent forehand placements. The girls even brought the odd spinning ‘dropshot serve’ into play, a style favoured by young Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz.

The Longueville team comprised experienced women, while Collaroy was represented by an all-teenage team. Director of the Evolve Tennis Academy, Scott Fletcher, described the CTC players as “4.5 Stars”, until they put on sunscreen to become “5 Star Standouts”. But even as the Collaroy girls forged to the lead, he said the atmosphere remained “tense”.

Some say Doubles favours more mature players, with their strategic game-play and experience, distinct advantages. But our teenagers, hitting with power and precision, proved to be the best on the day, surging to an overall 6 sets to 2 victory. Though unable to be there, President Vito Cincinnato kept in touch from his holiday in the snow and said over the phone that it was great to have a new generation of players representing the Club so well. He was proud of both teams and indeed, all the players who represented Collaroy in this year’s Badge Comp.

Over on Courts 2 and 3, the Men’s team proved too powerful, hungry and quick, accounting for their opponents from Neutral Bay in a resounding 8 sets to 0 victory. Play was aggressive and while the men from Neutral Bay competed with a range of styles and some funky serves in the mix, it was Collaroy who won the majority of the excellent rallies. As Leighton might have said, you could hear the aces booming from the racquets of the younger players in our Men’s team from America!

Club Captain Wil Jauco prowled the courts throughout the afternoon, photographing the play. He said he was rapt that Collaroy was hosting two Badge Semi-Finals – the first time in a long time that two of our teams had finished so high on the ladder after the regular season. To celebrate the occasion, the Club put on a BBQ overseen by ‘Chief Chef’ Glenn Robertson. The snags went down a treat as all players enjoyed a few cold drinks in the sun, après play.

When not watching the action, club members played socially on the remaining courts (two of which have just been re-surfaced) enjoying a fabulous day in this superb location overlooking Long Reef Golf Course and the Ocean beyond.

Speaking for the girls, I can say we really enjoyed ourselves. It was so nice to see tradition observed with all ladies wearing skirts or dresses, while both Men’s and Ladies teams proudly wore Collaroy’s bold blue colours. Thanks CTC for another epic day of tennis.

Sydney Badge Grand Finals will be played on Saturday (2 Sep), with the CTC Men’s team playing at “home” and the Ladies will play “away” at Roseville. Good luck to the Collaroy Tennis Club teams!

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