Some of Australia’s best tennis players will be in action at the Bendigo Bank Tennis Complex this weekend as they battle it out for the 2012 William Loud International title.
Hometown hopeful Eliza Long has been eliminated from the tournament, after losing her doubles match on Monday and being eliminated by Nicha Lertpitaksinchai in the singles on Wednesday, 6-2 6-2.
Long was a wildcard in the event, but the 17-year-old battled gallantly in her two matches, in what was just her second professional tournament.
Bendigo Tennis Association executive officer Leon Reallick said Long’s loss was somewhat disappointing, but she could certainly hold her head high.
“It was only Eliza’s second professional event, and when you come up against a top-300 player in the world it’s always a difficult assignment,” he said.
“Eliza will be better for it, and will only keep improving.”
Defending champion and men’s number three seed Matt Reid was also knocked out on Wednesday by world number four ranked junior Nick Kyrgios in three sets, but is still alive in the doubles competition with partner Adam Feeney.
Retallick said Kyrgios’ win was extremely impressive, considering he only flew into the country on Monday.
“Nick had been playing a junior tournament in Japan, which he won, and flew in on Monday,” Retallick said.
“He is going to be a very good player, and is just one of a number of players in the tournament who have bright futures ahead of them.”
Second seed in the women’s draw Ashleigh Barty is another young gun excelling in the tournament, progressing to the quarter-finals with a 6-0 6-0 win over Sabina Sharipova.
“I think Ash Barty lost two points in her whole match,” Retallick said.
“If you want to see a what a teenage prodigy looks like, Ashleigh is one to watch as she is going to be, and already is, a super player.”
The tournament ends this Sunday with the quarters to be held on Friday and the semi-finals on Saturday.
Retallick said the action-packed weekend will be free to all comers.
“It’s free all week, and we’re really hopeful we get a lot of people down to see some fantastic players in action,” he said.
“We’ve had good crowds here so far, and we’ve got some of the best junior players in the world competing.
“Some of these players will go on to accomplish big things, and people have the opportunity to see them for free in their home town, which we think is fantastic.”