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Neilson beat club mate to win Echuca tennis title

Bundoora's Jayden Neilson defeated fellow club mate on the weekend to win Echuca Lawn Tennis Club's annual Easter tournament.

LUKE MCMANUS April 23, 2014 3:04am

Jason Ward plays in the open men's doubles final at Echuca.


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There was no triple treat for Bundoora’s John Hampson at Echuca Lawn Tennis Club’s annual Easter tournament on the weekend, defeated in Monday’s open men’s singles final by clubmate Jayden Neilson.

Hampson, Bundoora Tennis Club’s head coach, missed out on his third consecutive title, toppled by Neilson, Hampson’s assistant coach, 6-1 6-4.

Hampson, the top seed, enjoyed a relatively smooth run to the final while Neilson, who played one more match than his opponent, teed off in the preliminary round ahead of an impressive finals campaign.

‘‘Jayden absolutely loved it,’’ Hampson said.

‘‘He was too good on the day and I just couldn’t get the job done this time around.

‘‘I had a good time anyway, the weekend is always fantastic.

‘‘The tennis is competitive and played at a really high standard.’’

Monday’s final was the fourth consecutive occasion the pair have played each other in Echuca.

Neilson last defeated Hampson in 2010, knocking the senior coach out of the semi-finals.

Since then, it has been Hampson who has enjoyed the limelight.

The ledger is squared at two games apiece, discounting Hampson’s victory over Neilson in the open mixed doubles draw.

Teaming up with Zoe Plastow, Hampson helped defeat Neilson and partner Kate Dixon in a marathon final, 4-6 7-6 10-4.

In the women’s singles, Catherine White dealt Anna Clarkson her second consecutive finals defeat, prevailing 6-3 6-3.

Clarkson’s 2013 final’s opponent, Brooke Chapman, paired up with Maddie Collins to defeat Lucinda McKillop and Emily Rea in the women’s open doubles final, 6-2 6-7 6-4.

More than 350 participants took part in the four-day event, with Melbourne-based players dominating the card.

Tournament director Ian Sinnett said more than 90 per cent of the 700 entries received were Melbourne.

‘‘It’s wonderful to see so many people from out of town compete,’’ Sinnett said.

‘‘There aren’t many grass courts in Melbourne these days, so people enjoy coming up and playing at ours, all of which are in excellent condition.

‘‘With some 350 players comes another 100 or so family members and friends which brings so much money in for the town.

‘‘The tournament itself ran smoothly, hardly a hiccup and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.’’

Sinnett described Easter Saturday as ‘‘massive’’ with many spectators sharing their time between the neighbouring Victoria Park football oval and netball courts during Echuca Football Club’s fixture against Tatura.

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