BRILLIANT tennis by one of WA’s finest, Alicia Molik, helped Cottesloe win the 2017 women’s State League tennis final against Blue Gum on grass on Saturday.
In of the best finals ever, the former world number 8t was pushed to the brink by a rampant Katy O’Shea.
Molik was down 2-5 in the first set, but clawed back and then was again in trouble down 1-4 in the tiebreak but drew on her international experience to steady and deliver Cottesloe the 7-6 6-1 win.
This followed a pulsating win by Teiwa Casey 6-3 3-6 6-4 over Blue Gum’s Marisa Gianotti.
Casey was also 1-4 down in the third set and dug deep in a long rally that polarised the 150-plus crowd that erupted on every point.
The atmosphere was tight and every match was a struggle as Cottesloe’s Lexie Weir went down 5-7 6-3 2-6 to Sheridan Currie and the teams went into the deciding doubles tied on two rubbers, five sets each.
Molik then teamed with Casey to win the doubles in straight sets to carry Cottesloe to an emotional win.
Also south of the river, another western suburbs team Mosman Park took on Hensman Park in the men’s State League final that failed to live up to the expectations set when they last met in round 11.
Hensman, missing Rhys Johnson, reshuffled their team and wins by Zach Itzstein over Brenton Bacon 6-3 6-1 and Cameron Fenner over Mosman Park’s Sam Alexander 6-4 6-3 set up an unassailable lead.
Mosman Park missing regulars Gavin Van Peperzeel and Tom Hann were undermanned.
The battle of the number ones did not eventuate as world number 191 Brydan Klein for Mosman Park was untroubled by Hensman’s James Connolly, who was promoted from number three when the teams last met.
Marco Commuzzo and George Perez were still locked one set all in an epic as Hensman’s Itstein and Fenner closed out the final with a straight sets win in doubles over Klein and Alexander to regain the shield they last held in 2015.