WORLD no.4 doubles tennis star John Peers graced a crowd of 250 people at Bayswater Tennis Club last night, as part of his return home to Perth before he defends his Australian Open title next month.
The Sorrento resident supported his local club, Mosman Park Tennis Club, who beat the home side by a set and three games after being tied at 3-3 in their State League week 6 fixture, which was delayed by two weeks.
Peers, originally from Melbourne, won back-to-back ATP Finals and his first grand slam, the 2017 Australian Open men’s doubles, with Finland’s Henri Kontinen this season.
He was the first Australian men’s doubles winner at the Australian Open since Todd Woodbridge in 2001.
Peers said it was always good to visit local clubs during the few times he would fly back to Perth.
“I spent a lot of time growing up at clubs in Melbourne and it always brings back great memories for me,” he said.
“Back when I grew up, guys like (Chris) Guccione and Peter Luczak come back to play pennants back in Melbourne.
“It was always great to see those guys come back; it helps boost the program and just what is going on in local tennis.”
Peers said it was a different experience playing at venues locally and on the ATP tour.
His goal for 2018 was to defend the Australian Open title and be more consistent throughout the year with Kontinen.
“The challenge for us is to find our form through the middle part of the year to continue what we have done in the back end and start of the years,” Peers said.
“It is fun and it is great to play at a good level and be able to do it for living.
“We know we have to bring our best tennis each time we walk on court to be able to beat these guys and compete with them.
“At the end of the day, it is more about us trying to bring the level we can each day and everything else takes care of itself.”
Peers said he would be spending Christmas in Perth with his wife and family before heading off to play at the Brisbane International which starts on December 31.
Bayswater club coach Anthony Harbrow said it was great to have Peers and other players including Bryden Klein and Brenton Bacon come to the club despite the club not having a clubhouse.
“It is our first season in first grade and we just want to be competitive and show that we don’t have a clubhouse but we can get a couple hundred of people come down to Bayswater,” he said.
“Just wait until next year when we do have a clubhouse and we will be doing this every week.”