Finally it's all done and dusted for Shepparton tennis player Luke Dixon. After a protest and the replaying of the doubles rubbers, Dixon and his Dingley teammates have won the Tennis Victoria Grade One pennant grand final.By Marc McGowan
Shepparton tennis player Luke Dixon experienced déjà vu on Saturday.
Dixon and his Dingley teammates were back on court against Royal South Yarra at Kooyong to replay the doubles rubbers of Tennis Victoria’s Grade One pennant grand final.
Controversy ensued in the aftermath of the original decider three Saturdays ago, with RSY lodging a protest against Dingley’s use of six players rather than four across the doubles matches.
Dingley’s players were unaware it was against the rules and wanted to acknowledge Stuart Brown’s and Scott McNamara’s contribution during the season.
Pennant committee members upheld RSY’s protest and ruled the four doubles rubbers should be replayed before an appeals board came to the same conclusion last Wednesday night.
The clubs split the eight rubbers in the initial match, but Dingley won by two sets and 14 games, with Dixon and Matt Carroll winning the deciding set of the last rubber to clinch the contest.
RSY started the weekend with a three-rubbers-to-one lead from the singles, needing only to split the doubles matches to beat the previously undefeated Dingley.
Dixon’s teammates Daniel Wendler and Anthony Zafiris won both their rubbers in straight sets, whereas Dixon and Carroll went down in two sets in their opener against Lewis Myles and Conrad Lim.
The Dixon-Carroll pairing also lost the opening set of their second match, leaving Dingley one losing set from overall defeat.
But they lifted to win the second set 6-3 over big-serving David Vukasinec and Tom Paino and square the match before a thrilling deciding set.
All four players held serve to start the set then they all dropped serve in a remarkable turn of events to leave it locked four-all.
Dixon and Carroll, like in the match-up two weeks earlier, broke Vukasinec for the second time in the third set before Carroll successfully served out the match.
‘‘It was much more relief than anything else,’’ Dixon said.
‘‘It’s a different emotion the second time around, because it was elation the first time around.
‘‘We played really well and had to dig deep, so it was, obviously, good to get the win.’’
Dixon, head coach of Keystone Tennis, crosses to the golf course now and will represent Goulburn Valley this month in Country Week.
He will then again play for Kialla Park when the new Goulburn-Murray Lawn Tennis Association season begins next month.
‘‘We’ve lost a few players, because some have moved away, but we’ll have a team and it will be more than competitive,’’ Dixon said.
‘‘We have some good young players coming through, so they had a good year last year learning and will step up and we’re looking forward to a good year again.’’
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