Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Benalla to host international tennis match

Tennis players from Australia and the United States will play a match in Benalla on Australia Day.

January 17, 2014 4:11am

Kelly Wren in action at the Australian Championship Games in 2012.

Benalla will host an international tennis match between Australia and the United States on Australia Day.

To be played at Benalla Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, the international match will see some of the world’s best players with an intellectual disability in action, including Australian world champions Kelly Wren and Sharon Morse.

‘‘We were very excited to have Team USA enter the Australian Championships in Melbourne this year so we floated the idea of extending their stay and introducing an Australia v USA match,’’ Ausrapid chief executive Robyn Smith said.

‘‘When all parties jumped at the idea we decided to bring them back to Benalla to play on our grass courts and experience Australia Day in a rural setting.’’

Competing at the Inas World Championships in the Czech Republic last year, Wren returned with four world titles in singles, doubles, mixed doubles and teams.

USA did not contest the world titles so the results of this match will be watched closely by players around the world.

The USA will be represented by Ben Hadden (Ohio), Jonathon Fried (Virginia), Brittany Taglianeri (Florida) and Katherine Richards (Texas).

All players will compete in singles and doubles at the Australian Championships in Melbourne from January 22 to 25 prior to travelling to Benalla.

The visiting teams and their families will be billeted across Benalla, and will enjoy the town’s Australia Day celebrations before competing in the afternoon.

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