The 2010 Victorian Open, the Singles also known as the Woolner Stone Trophy and the Doubles the George Limb Trophy, was played over October 8 – 11. In the main draw great tennis was played by the likes of Ruaraidh Gunn, Kieran Booth, Julian Snow, Bret Richardson and Mike Happell. In the Singles event Gunn defeated Richardson in the first semi-final and Snow proved too steady in the backhand-to-backhand exchanges for Booth in the second (score 6/5 6/5). The final was therefore played between Gunn and Snow and at 3-all in the first set it was looking like Snow could wind back the clock a decade or so as he pushed the world number 6. However, from then on Gunn tightened his railroad just enough to change the tempo of the floor exchanges. Rather than playing backhand-to-backhand, more often the rally found its way to Ruaraidh’s forehand and an eventual Grille.

Victorian Open Singles
R. Gunn defeated J. Snow
6/3 6/1

In the A Division Jon Hamer was able to fend off Sarah Vigrass and Jonnie Davies won the plate event.

A Division Singles
J. Hamer defeated S. Vigrass
6/4 6/3

Plate Event Singles
J. Davies

On Monday night the doubles final was played by the AUS amateur champions Happell/Richardson against Gunn and Booth, with Gunn/Booth being the favourites according to the experts. In what was clearly the match of the tournament, Happell and Richardson took the first set thanks to Happell’s craftsman’s display in the forehand corner coupled with Richardson’s net play – unlike any other player, Richardson’s net play covers the net all the way to the main wall and also includes the overhead backhand smash volley. The second set saw the scores reversed as Gunn became even steadier and Booth, subduing his instinctive impetuosity, provided the foil. Throughout the first two sets both pairs mixed extreme pace with deft touch and placement. Happell’s mixture of cut, drop shots and crosscourt play from the forehand corner at the service end was doubles at its best. The third set was the best of them all. Power, reflex volleys, all four players turned it on. And just as Happell and Richardson looked to have it won by taking a 5/1 lead, Gunn and Booth squared it at 5-all. Momentum in the final game shifted repeatedly. At 30 love up and serving the amateurs looked to have it, then the other pair laid two great chases seemingly turning the match in their favour. With the score now 30-all and the amateurs at the receiving end the pre-match favourites were once again in the box seat. This time Happell was able to lay a chase allowing them another chance at the service end. Finally, after one deuce and after saving a match point, and another change of ends, and after another long rally Ruaraidh was unable to get one of Happell’s forehands back and it was over.

Victorian Open Doubles
Happell/Richardson defeated Gunn/Booth
6/4 4/6 6/5

Owen Guest