Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Tatura men's singles final clash once again a thriller

David Starling and Erik Holt-Crossman have fought out a thrilling men's singles final at Tatura Lawn Tennis Club's Labour Day tournament for the second straight year.

HANNAH DRISCOLL March 11, 2014 4:10am

Tatura’s Andrew Clement was among the local winners at the Tatura tournament.


The highlight of last year’s Tatura Lawn Tennis Club’s Labour Day tournament was the men’s open singles final between Kyabram’s David Starling and Rich River’s Erik Holt-Crossman.

They did not disappoint when they met in the final again this year, only this time the younger challenger emerged on top.

Once again the match went down to a tie-break, with Holt-Crossman, 16, winning the deciding points 10-9 (9-7) in the final on Saturday evening.

‘‘Last year was close the whole way through, but this year I came from a bit behind, so to come up with the win was probably unexpected of me at the time I guess,’’ Holt-Crossman said.

‘‘But I was happy I got over the line and it was a really good match.’’

Holt-Crossman paid credit to Starling for playing really well and said he had simply played well when it mattered.

He said the key to turning the game around after being down a double break was to improve on his return of serve and also to try to serve better.

Holt-Crossman was celebrating again on Sunday night when he and his uncle Andrew Crossman won the open men’s doubles against David and Matthew Starling, again in a tie-break, 10-9 (7-4).

Holt-Crossman, who beat his relation for the first time in the singles semi-final the day before, said they endured some close matches in the pool games before reaching the final.

There was only two breaks for the match, including one against Holt-Crossman that would have given him the match had he held serve.

‘‘It was close the whole way, not much in it, but it was a good match and good work to (Andrew) for hanging in there and keeping me going, he played really well,’’ he said.

There was another battle of the master and apprentice in the women’s open singles final, with Tatura’s reigning winner Sharon Clement once again taking out her home club tournament.

This time she played one of her Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Association Premier One teammates, Fin Smith, and won both sets in a tie-break, 7-6 7-6.

Clement, playing with Nicci Jeffery, also backed up her performance on Sunday, again defeating teammates Smith and Susie Wiffen in the women’s open doubles in a round-robin format competition.

The tournament finished yesterday with the mixed doubles, with Andrew Clement and Jessica Hartland winning the open section ahead of runners-up David Kos and Jeffery.

Tournament director Alan Morse said the entries were a similar number to last year, but believed there had been a drop in the number of local competitors.

‘‘The two open singles finals were outstanding matches, for Fin to lose in two tie-break sets was a great effort considering she is only 16 and the David Starling-Erik Holt-Crossman match was also terrific,’’ Morse said.

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