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Players enjoy Tennis Seniors tournament

Tennis Seniors Queensland
Australian team member Stephen Dance returns the ball at Drinan Park during the Tennis Seniors Queensland tournament.

Tennis players got back in the swing of things at the 41st Bundaberg Tennis Seniors Queensland tournament.

Senior tennis players, including some Australian representatives, were excited to be back playing tennis for the third time since restarting the season after COVID-19 restriction were eased.

Tennis Bundaberg president Brian Doughty said the three-day event at Drinan Park Tennis Centre started on Friday.

After a wet and dreary Saturday competitions moved to weatherproof courts around the Bundaberg Region, before fine weather on Sunday had the courts perfect for the last day of competition.

Tennis Seniors Queensland
Tennis Bundaberg president Brian Doughty was relieved the clay courts at Drinan Park dried out on Sunday morning, ready for the final day of the Tennis Seniors Queensland competition.

“We started on Friday and we got halfway through the draw, which was enough to declare winners,” he said.

“But then with the rain on Saturday we had to farm out to Moore Park Beach, Bargara and St Luke’s.”

Brian said 69 participants attended the 41st Tennis Seniors Queensland tournament, with participants travelling from around the state to take part.

“I think everyone has just loved being back out in the competition, so much so that we’ve been playing in the rain,” Brian said.

“You can really tell by the numbers we have had turn up.”

Brian said it was fantastic to have the competition held in Bundaberg as it gave local players a chance to see some of the top-ranking players in action.

Tennis Seniors Queensland president Gail Bates said the Bundaberg Region held the Tennis Seniors Queensland tournament annually, and it was always a good drawcard for the players.

“The ranking points have actually been frozen because the borders are closed, but it hasn’t stopped anyone who can from playing, that’s how much we have missed it,” Gail said.

“I just think everyone is just so happy to be back and competing, it’s the social side of things too.

“Some of us haven’t seen each other for such a long time because of COVID.

“We normally have around a dozen players stay in the region, eating and exploring for a while, before moving on to the next tournament.”

Tennis Seniors Queensland
Max Bates, 70, is a nine times world doubles champion. He enjoyed the friendly competition at Bundaberg's Tennis Seniors Queensland tournament at the weekend.

Gail said currently the Tennis Seniors Queensland tournament was open to anyone over 35 years of age, but that’s about to change.

“It’s quite exciting, because next year it will be open to anyone over 30, as ITF is dropping the age group,” she said.

“International Tennis Federation is the governing body in London, and they have decided to bring in over 30s, and over 90s, which will increase the participation.”

Tennis Seniors Queensland secretary Reg Baxter said the weekend went well and they looked forward to returning to the Bundaberg Region again next year.