THE 2024 Latrobe City Traralgon Open and Junior Event was on full display from July 1 to 3 with over 180 competitors that saw welcomed participation from any novice or seasoned tennis player.

Players flocked to the Traralgon Tennis Association and were gifted to three days of fine weather to allow competition to run smoothly with no delays to play.

The events included 10 and under through to 16 and under along with the Open events including singles and doubles with players featured from across the Gippsland area and other parts of regional Victoria and Melbourne’s metro areas.

The junior events were a tremendous opportunity for the young players to commence their tennis playing in tournament-based local competition. Alternatively, the Open events enabled mature players the opportunity to gain important match practice which equals to both ventures offering an invaluable pathway for players of any level of experience, young and old.

The hosting Traralgon Tennis Association said it was pleased to see so many new and returning players as well as the arrival of large squads from South Gippsland and Melbourne that truly bolstered the events competitiveness.

The Open events was a Tennis Australia event which allowed for seasoned players to compete and improve their Universal Tennis Ranking (UTR) which gave the Open an extra lure for a variety of players around Victoria and was extra special for the community to have locals improve their rankings close by.

Many local players were on showcased in the headlining events including the Open Singles and Open Doubles in both the Male and Female divisions with some of the Valley’s finest talent.

Traralgon’s Ben Grumley (entering as the number one seed) defeated Florian Kostov (4) winning two sets to one in the Men’s Singles Final with the final set being the tightest, 10-6.

Grumley also won the Men’s Doubles Final alongside fellow Traralgon player Sam McGregor in a walkover against Ethan Gooi and Aadithya Pai.

Traralgon superstars: Men’s Doubles winners Sam McGregor (left) and Ben Grumley (right). Photograph supplied

Grumley has spent the last four years in the US, recently graduating from William Woods University and is now working at Lubbock Christian University in an assistant role in the Division 2 tennis program.

McGregor attends Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and is currently in his second year of study as well as in their tennis program.

Fellow Traralgon hotshot Eliza Dunbar (number one seed) won the Women’s Singles Final in a two set sweep against contending Catherine Marina Krueger (second seed) that wasn’t as easy as the result suggests and lasted over two hours despite the limited sets.

Dunbar also attends school in the US at Fresno State University in California upon a mid-year transfer during the 2023-2024 season.

Dunbar also won the Women’s Doubles Final with Sale’s Jessica Board in a comfortable two sets against Aurelie Kostova and Daisi Kukuljan, (6-0, 6-2).

Guns: Women’s Doubles winners, Jessica Board (Sale) and Eliza Dunbar (Traralgon). Photograph supplied

Winners across the three days were: Sam Huang (2) taking out the Men’s Singles Tier 2, Reza Sazali in the Boy’s Singles 16 and Under, Louis Lazzaro and Andrew Johnson in the Boy’s Doubles 16 and Under, Keerah Pocklington (1) in the Girl’s Singles 16 and Under, Declan Kamphuis in the Boy’s Singles 14 and Under, Anna Banson (1) in the Girl’s Singles 14 and Under, Anikin Margis and Tom Wood in the Boy’s Doubles 14 and Under, Candice Bramwell and Milla Lazzaro in the Girl’s Doubles 14 and Under, Liam Tarrant (3) in the Boy’s Singles 12 and Under, Kotone Burgess (1) in the Girl’s Singles 12 and Under, Arham Tarriqand Liam Tarrant in the Boy’s Doubles 12 and Under, Kotone Burgess and Elsa Grgic in the Girl’s Doubles 12 and Under, Elena Lazzaro in the Girl’s Singles 10 and Under.

Great stuff: Some of the junior event winners. Photograph supplied