Top seeds get shots at Tamworth tennis titles

TOP seeds Sean Carson and Melissa Anderson will fight for the Warragundi Beef Company Tamworth Easter Open AMT men’s and women’s singles titles at Treloar Park today.

Carson will take on No.2 seed Jason Taylor while Anderson will meet Chloe Costello.

Anderson (Sydney) defeated talented Gunnedah youngster Gabbi O’Gorman 6-2 6-4 in her semi yesterday, while Costello (Forresters Beach) got the better of Rebecca Stewart (Green Point) 6-4 6-4.

Taylor (Lake Cathie) was pushed to three sets by unseeded Nat Maraga (Glossodia) but got the win 6-4 4-6 6-2.

Brother Adam didn’t fare as well, being ousted by Carson 6-4 6-4.

The tournament carries silver level AMT status and, as such, in addition to prizemoney, offers Australian ranking points.

This year it’s attracted over 230 individual entries, equating to 525 matches over the four days.

Among those taking the court is former WTA player Trudi Musgrave-Edwards.

Musgrave-Edwards retired from the circuit in 2008 after a career that saw her reach a doubles high ranking of 62 and singles ranking of 207, and annexe three ITF singles titles and 40 doubles titles.

These days she is coaching  in Newcastle, and is currently coaching the Country Starz – a post junior program developed by Tennis NSW to address “a void in country player development for athletes aged 18-22 years”. 

That’s what brought her  to Tamworth, with eight of the 12-strong squad competing.

The program aims to ease the financial burden for the squad members, providing financial assistance at selected tournaments and competitions.

Tamworth was one of the six picked for this year’s program and will be the last for this year’s intake.

The next program will begin mid-year with applications closing next month.

“I’ve really enjoyed it with the kids,” Musgrave-Edwards said.

She said she wished the program was around when she was coming through with what it offers.

“It gives them (the kids) probably six more tournaments than they can afford to go to,” she said.

Especially for country kids, it can be a big financial undertaking.

It is her first time in Tamworth but not first association with Tamworth.

“I played doubles a few times and won some titles with (Tamworthian) Emelyn Starr,” she said.

She is in Tamworth more in a coaching capacity but is partnering squad member Jess Polack in the women’s doubles.

“I’m only playing doubles to help out,” she said, with five boys and three girls up here.

Yesterday afternoon they had a tough quarter-final win over O’Gorman and Sydney’s Julie Khamula  7-5 6-4.

Generally Musgrave-Edwards has been happy with how the squad has performed.

Carson and the Taylor brothers are part of the squad, as is Costello.

“They’ve done well,” Musgrave-Edwards said.

Particularly the boys, with all five making the quarter- finals and two the final.

Both finals will commence at 10am.

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