Game, set and match for Banney
THE RESULTS may not have all gone his way but that’s not stopping Patrick Banney from having a smashing time in Melbourne.
The 16-year-old member of the Maryborough and District Tennis Junior Tennis Association lost his match in the opening round of the Australian 16 years and under Championships.
Not without a fight though.
The St Mary’s College student, who is ranked number 470 in men’s singles in Australia, gave it his best shot before losing 6-4, 6-4.
It was the first time Banney had played in the nationals and despite the defeat he said he had really enjoyed the experience.
“You are playing against the best of the best in your age group,” Banney, who only started playing tennis eight years ago and only because his sisters were playing competitively and their team was short of numbers, said.
“It was a great opportunity for me to see where I am at with my game – unfortunately I didn’t get to test myself as much as I would have liked.
“That’s tennis though – you win some and you lose some.
“Saying that, it was a fantastic experience playing in the tournament and playing at Melbourne Park.
“The courts were the best I’ve ever played on,” Banney, who is coached by Maryborough’s Bruce Rayner, said.
Banney bounced backed from his early exit from the nationals by winning his opening game in an Australian Money Tournament which is also being held in Melbourne yesterday.
He outplayed his first round opponent 6-1, 6-2.
Not surprisingly, Banney, who is ranked in the top 20 in his age group and who has won 30 junior titles in his career, said he was pleased with the win.
“I hit it good,” he said during a break from watching some of the action during the play-offs to win a wildcard entry into the Australian Open next month.
“Hopefully I can do the same in the next round and beyond – that would be a nice way to start Christmas.”
Coach Rayner said he was sure Banney would benefit from his time playing in the two tournaments in Melbourne.
“It’s all part of his learning curve and there is no doubt that he will take it all on board,” Rayner said.