TRARALGON Tennis Association hosted its second and final ITF event in late-February, ending in early March, coming to a heart-warming conclusion.

Hosted at the event was the men’s M25 and the women’s W35, both with singles and doubles tournaments.

Taking to the courts of Traralgon for what was the second week in a row, tennis players from across the globe converged into the Latrobe Valley town for another big tournament.


Men’s Singles

IN the men’s singles, local talent from Traralgon, Josh Charlton only made it as far as the third qualifying round, missing out on the main draw after going down to South Korean, Seon Yong Han in straight sets.

Charlton automatically progressed to the second qualifying round, where he beat fellow Australian, Jack Bruce-Smith in a three-set thriller.

In the main draw, three Australians held positions in the semi-finals, with No. 1 seed, Li Tu defeating Luke Saville in straight sets to progress to the final, and No. 3 seed Alex Bolt defeated the Japanese Hiroki Moriya in straight sets to set up and all-Australian final.

The No. 1 seed would prove to be too much trouble for Bolt, winning the tournament in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.


Women’s Singles

IN the women’s singles, a proper mix of players found themselves in the final four, with No. 1 seed from Australia, Priscilla Hon taking on No. 3 seed from China, YeXin Ma, and the Australian Petra Hule was set with the task of No. 6 seed from Thailand, Lanlana Tararudee.

Ma defeated Hon which turned heads, while Tararudee progressed after a tough semi-final with Hule going the distance.

It came down to the third seed against the sixth seed, and it was the sixth seed Tararudee taking out the tournament with a straight sets victory, 6-4, 7-5.


Women’s Doubles

THE women’s doubles tournament was taken out by Japanese duo Yuki Naito and Naho Sato, who only dropped one set for the entire tournament.

They defeated the No. 2 seed, Australian duo of Destanee Aiava and Tenika McGiffen in the final with relative ease.

Seemingly easing their way to the victory, Naito and Sato came across their toughest opponent in the first round, when they were taken to the third set against Erina Hayashi and Yu-Chieh Hsieh, after dropping the opening set of the tournament.

Following that game, the winning pair only dropped 11 more games from the remaining three matches – an outstanding record.


Men’s Doubles

THE men’s doubles tournament was watched quite closely, especially by those from Traralgon, as Charlton teamed up with Blake Ellis once again.

Coming into the tournament as the No. 3 seeded pair, Charlton and Ellis knew there would be some work to do if they were to make it to the pointy end of the tournament.

They started off positively, defeating fellow Australian duo Ethan Cook and Jayden Court in the first round in straight sets, progressing to the quarter finals where they again easily dispatched of the US’ Andre Ilagan and Japan’s Yuta Kikuchi, again in straight sets to progress to the final four pairs.

Charlton and Ellis would then have to face fellow Aussie No. 1 seeded pair Blake Bayldon and Kody Pearson.

Bayldon and Pearson had done things quite easily up until this point, so both pairs would be excited for the challenge ahead.

Charlton and Ellis won the first set, which went to a tie-break, before breaking in the second set and holding on to complete the straight sets victory.

In the final, they met another Australian duo, this time comprising Jesse Delaney and Ajeet Rai.

Delaney and Rai had just come off the back of a three-set win, which saw 16 games played in the final set.

Thanks to fatigue and simply outclassing them, Charlton and Ellis would walk to the title, something that had eluded them the week before, where they came runners-up.

Charlton and Ellis claimed the title with a 6-1, 6-3 win, travelling throughout the entire tournament without dropping a set.

Charlton and Ellis continued to dominate after their victory in Traralgon, taking to the courts of Mildura in mid-March.

The pair (this time as a No. 2 seed) completed back-to-back doubles titles, defeating Australian pair Matt Hulme and James Watt in three sets, 6-4, 6-7, 10-4.