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Shepparton trio closer to playing in finals

Three Shepparton players will be playing for a berth in the final of their respective competitions today at Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club.

DAMEN FRANCIS January 16, 2014 4:15am

Nikolas N’Godrela eliminated Shepparton’s Bruce Ferguson en route to the semi-final.


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Three Shepparton players are vying for a place in the final of their respective competitions at Shepparton Lawn Tennis Club this morning.

Nicholas Gattuso will take on second seed Joshua Baker in the under-16 boys’ singles semi-final, after accounting for Filip Chwastek 6-1 6-1 at the quarter-final stage of the Goulburn Valley Junior Championships yesterday morning.

Jessica Mason was handed a mini respite, when her quarter-final opponent Lisa Mays retired in the under-14 girls’ competition.

Mason was leading 6-4 4-1 at the time, but at this stage of the tournament and with this week’s heat, any break is welcome.

The fifth seed will meet number four seed Stephanie Hird for a place in the decider.

Hird also reached the semi-finals of the open women’s event at the Greater Shepparton Summer Challenge, on concurrently at the same venue, when she was defeated 6-3 6-4 by Natasha Van Bemmel.

Van Bemmel awaits the winner of the second semi-final between Shepparton’s second seed Hope Curtis-McDonald and third seed Sarina King, which was postponed due to the heat and was rescheduled for this morning.

It was not all good news for the local hopefuls, with Bruce Ferguson falling in his quarter-final against Nikolas N’Godrela of New Caledonia.

Ferguson went down 6-1 6-3

‘‘It was very tough out there. He’s a good player,’’ Ferguson said.

‘‘I got off to a bad start, but he was just too good in the second set.

‘‘No-one really knows these guys, he played Jarrod (Bingham) in the first round and he gave me a few tips, but that was all.

‘‘I’ve got the Australian Championships next week for seniors, so I was after some match play to prepare for that. I’m very happy with how I went, it just would have been nicer to go a bit further.’’

N’Godrela joined his fellow Pacific Oceania teammates Daniel Llarenas (Guam) and Cyril Jacobe in the semi-finals.

Llarenas breezed past wildcard Daniel Sutton 6-4 6-3 to set up a meeting with Ryan Draffin, the highest seed left in the draw.

N’Godrela will take on Jacobe, who survived eight match points against fifth seed Jordan Drew.

Trailing 9-2 in the super tie-breaker, Jacobe rolled off nine straight points to triumph 7-6 6-7 (11-9).

Both tournaments continue today.

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