December, 2016. The Shaw Sharks have won the second annual Brisbane Tennis League after a convincing grand final win at the weekend.
Played at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Sunday, the Sharks beat the Matchpoint Mavericks four sets to love to secure a place in January’s State League Final, which is played on the outside courts during the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.
The team of Scott Puodziunas (1), Robert Stirling (2), Jayden Court (3) and Naiktha Bains each won their singles matches, negating the need to play the final two ties – men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
“Everyone worked together and backed each other, it was great,” said Matt Webb, the Shaw Sharks coach. Webb believes it’s the team culture they’ve created at the club that has seen the Sharks do so well in 2016. He says players love the team-based competition which is played in a fun FAST4 format, with the chance to share in more than $40,000 prizemoney.
“The league format is massive for the sport, as tennis players you don’t get to play in a team environment very often, but when you’re not playing your sitting on side of the court barracking for your team, and when you’re on court you fighting to play the best you can for the team,” he said.
Also qualifying for the State League Final are the Wests Rebel Sport Magpies (Northern Tennis League winners), the Coolum Cobras (Sunshine Coast Tennis League winners), and the Carrara Cougars (Gold Coast Tennis League winners).
Top ranked players to qualify include former World No.204 Ben Mitchell (Cararra Cougars), and current top 500 players Tom Fancutt (Carrara Cougars), Scott Puodziunas (Shaw Sharks), Naiktha Bains (Shaw Sharks) and Sophie Letcher (Carrara Cougars).
“The State League Final is the pinnacle of team tennis in Queensland, with local talent playing in the exciting FAST4 format. It provides a great opportunity for our clubs and players to be part of the Brisbane International and play alongside international stars like Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber in 2017,” said League director Marc Wittmann.
The State League Final will be played at the Queensland Tennis Centre between 1-3 January.