Echuca teenagers Regan More and Erik Holt-Crossman took part in the Australian under 16 championships this week.By Geordie Cowan
Echuca tennis players Regan More and Erik Holt-Crossman competed at the national under 16 championships in Melbourne this week.
The duo earned enough points during the year to take part in the qualifying event, vying for one of eight main draw spots among 62 others.
Unfortunately, both drew tough opponents in the first round and were eliminated.
More played seventh seed Ryan Draffin, losing 6-2 6-2, while Holt-Crossman played ninth seed Ciaran Lavars, losing 6-4 6-3 in 96 minutes.
Lavars went on to qualify for the main draw and had won his first-round match to progress to the last 16 at the time of writing.
Holt-Crossman said he was a ‘‘bit nervous’’ going into his singles match as it was the first time he had competed at the national championships.
‘‘It was a really good match,’’ he said.
‘‘It was pretty close and I did all right, but just couldn’t get there.’’
Both players then took part in the qualifying consolation singles, with Holt-Crossman again drawing a high-ranked player and losing to fifth seed Aaron Westerlund in a third set super tie-break, 7-6 (7) 2-6 10-50.
More, who was taking part in his sixth national event and last one in this age group, had better success in the consolation event, defeating Luca Crancar 6-1 6-2 in the opening round, before receiving a walkover from second seed Connor McAlpine.
He then played 15th seed Sebastian Escobar, losing 6-2 6-4 in 1:22.
More said he played better the longer he stayed in the tournament.
‘‘It was good to see what the level was like and know how much I have to train to get there,’’ he said.
‘‘It was pretty close, despite the scores.’’
More and Holt-Crossman were also the first alternates for the 32-strong doubles draw and were lucky enough to play.
However, the duo faced third seeds Lawrence Bataljin and Daniel Nolan in the first round, losing 7-5 6-1.
‘‘We played really well, even though we lost,’’ More said.
‘‘We lost the first set 7-5 and it was just a couple of points that make a difference,’’ Holt-Crossman added.
Holt-Crossman, 15, greatly enjoyed the experience of playing at the event at Melbourne Park.
‘‘You definitely feel more professional. Playing on one court, with grandstands around,’’ he said.
‘‘It was quite a professional atmosphere.
‘‘It was also good to see the Australian Open wildcard play-offs as well.
‘‘I got to watch some really good tennis from the older players. It showed how much I have to improve and how good you have to be.’’
Holt-Crossman already has his sights set on the national events next year.
‘‘I am now really looking forward to the next nationals,’’ he said.
‘‘It should be interesting.’’
■ Erik and Andrine Holt-Crossman were also part of the Loddon Campaspe team which won the Ambassadors Cup in Rye at the start of December.
Playing with Bendigo’s Zach Lethlean and Chloe Stokes, the team comfortably won all its matches in the 15 and under tournament.
Erik won every match he took part in, while Andrine won two singles and all the doubles games against Barwon, Northern Mallee, East Gippsland, Goulburn and South West.
He also won the under 16 Shepparton Junior Classic last week, capping off a successful couple of weeks.
Erik only dropped five games in the first three rounds, before defeating Jayden Blencowe 6-1 6-3 in the final.
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