TENNIS: Cottesloe, Dalkeith to host State League finals Saturday

Tristan Schoolkate beat coach Andrew Roberts on the weekend
Tristan Schoolkate beat coach Andrew Roberts on the weekend

LAST year’s women’s State League runner-up, Cottesloe Tennis Club, put in a hard fought display of grass court tennis to win their way to host the final against 2018 winners Royal Kings Park Tennis Club (RKPTC).

Despite Hensman forcing three of the four rubbers into three sets in matches that could have gone either way, it was Cottesloe led by Lexie Weir that won all four singles to record a 4-8-64 to 0-3-47 games win.

In the other semi-final, RKPTC delivered a four rubbers to one win over Blue Gum Park however the scoreline didn’t reflect some tough matches between RKPTC junior Shanelle Iaconi surviving a three-set singles match and had to back it up in a three-set doubles to put the win out of doubt.

The likely return of Alicia Molik for Cottesloe at next week’s final may tip the result in their favour.

In the men’s competition, Dalkeith Tennis Club (DTC) was missing their number one player Tom Fancutt who had made a deep run in a Futures tournament in Mornington leaving the Fins under serious pressure.

Cottesloe was at full strength and quickly on top.

The match of the day was the first head-to-head matchup of Tristan Schoolkate, Australian ranked junior, against his own National Academy coach Andrew Roberts and it didn’t disappoint.

Roberts, with a world-class forehand and aggressive play in gusty winds did early damage to take the first set yet it was the youth of Schoolkate who steadied and delivered a mature 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win to even the match.

In a classic “player beats the coach” win, momentum had shifted and two more singles wins by DTC put them up heading into the doubles with only a set needed.

Across town, Hensman stormed into the final with a decisive win 4-1 over RKPTC.

The win was led by Brydan Klein, a touring pro who will make a big influence on the final, who did not drop a game in his win over RKPTC’s Jake Robinson.

Straight sets wins by Hensman’s Zach Itzstein and Vuk Velickovic completed the three rubbers, seven sets to one rubber two sets.

Last year’s men’s runner-ups Hensman will now take the next step against the passionate Dalkeith Fins at DTC.

With both teams likely to be at full strength with touring pros Klein and Fancutt going head to head, it will one of the closest finals for many years.

Refreshments and food will be available with matches starting at 12.30pm.