In a startling break from recent tradition the final of Ballarat’s biggest event was not only held in the year designated but completed before September.  Tuesday 31 August saw the last two players, down from an original draw of sixty, play the final of this gruelling event.

A small but enthusiastic group of spectators saw evergreen Mick Fenelon (42) give a start of owe 15 against Ian Chambers (46) in the best of three sets final.  Ian started strongly, harnessing some of his awesome potential power, before Mick steadied, scurrying about the court and retrieving everything to win the first set 6/3.  Ian’s wife Angie remained confident that his mantra of “play sensibly” would help him come back into the match despite a raft of historical evidence that “sensible” and “Ian Chambers” have never previously been seen adjacent in a sentence . Incidentally despite it being only 4 days prior to Father’s Day his two teenage daughters were nowhere to be seen. Poor effort girls!

Brett McFarlane marked the match flawlessly, effortlessly incorporating Mick’s efforts to mark the match himself. In the second set, Ian’s strength came to the fore and he carried the day 6/4 giving the crowd the cliffhanger the occasion demanded.  Mick jumped away at the start of the set with suspicions that while Ian’s strength was not in doubt, his aerobic capacity might be a bit lacking.  Ian, by the way, was noted to be one of only four BTC members who can reliably serve a railroad as their second serve.  Given that the others include the Club Champion and the Club Professional we might perhaps expect a little more from you Ian!

From 1/4, Ian came back at Mick who seemed to be suffering tennis elbow, tennis groin, tennis ankle and tennis brainfade, allowing the immortal cry from the dedans of “Come on four”.  Mick steadied and Ian’s volley unaccountably deserted him and despite squandering the first match point, Mick was able to close out the match 6/4 in the third.

Pizza and wine were enjoyed and the only disturbing feature of the evening surfaced the next day with the photographic record of the unfortunate fate of Ian’s racket.

Commiserations to all the losers (basically all players at the club) but well done Mick for your entry on to the Club’s honour board.

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