Larkham holds court in comeback
Canberra Velocity's Nick Kyrgios slides across the clay to reach a backhand. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Former professional Todd Larkham made his comeback to competitive tennis when he took to the clay courts at Lyneham for the Canberra Velocity in the Asia Pacific Tennis League on Sunday.
As the team manager, Larkham waited until the Velocity had an unassailable lead before testing out his form, partnering Jake Eames to win their doubles rubber in a super tie-break as the men's team beat the Hunter Raworth Tigers 5-1.
''It was my first competitive match since the 2004 Australian Open,'' Larkham said.
''I played better than I thought I would. It wasn't great but it was good enough to win, and we kind of won the big points in the tie-break at the end, so I was happy with it.
''You don't know how you're going to play in a competitive situation, I've been practising a bit but winning that match gives you a bit of confidence.''
Larkham and Eames beat brothers Blake and Cameron Smith, 4-3 (5-2), 1-4, (10-7).
Earlier, Alex Bolt, Nick Kyrgios and James Frawley had won their singles matches, Blake Mott losing narrowly in a third set tie-break.
Kyrgios and Bolt rounded out the win for the Velocity, cruising to a straight-sets victory in the final doubles rubber.
The men play their next match in Sydney on Thursday against the Canterbury Bankstown Wizards, a must win if they're to make the final of the NSW/ACT Conference next week.
Meanwhile, the Velocity women cemented their place in the conference final with a comprehensive victory over the NSTA Avengers.
The women remain undefeated in the round-robin format, but they dropped their first two matches in three rounds of competition in their 4-2 win.
Ashley Keir was trailing 4-3, 1-0 when she injured a shoulder in her singles rubber. Reserve Tarlina Tipungwuti subbed in but couldn't rescue the result, the Velocity going down 4-3, 4-2.
Keir will rest for the week with the hope she will be ready to play in the conference final at Sydney Olympic Park on November 27.
In the other singles rubbers, 22-year-old Alison Bai, ranked 869 in the world, dropped just two games, while Nicole Hoynaski and Tyra Calderwood were also untroubled against their opponents.
In the doubles, Hoynaski and Imogen Clews won in straight sets, but Bai and Calderwood lost in a super tie-break, 4-1, 1-4, (10-7) against Melissa Anderson and Lucy Gonzalez.