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Velocity women up to speed as men stall

Date

Lyndall Larkham

Alex Bolt makes a return on Tuesday night.

Alex Bolt makes a return on Tuesday night.

Canberra Velocity had mixed success in its opening Asia-Pacific Tennis League ties at Sydney Olympic Park last night.

Velocity's women's team, led by Alison Bai and Ashley Keir, dominated the lower ranked City Community Tennis outfit, while the men's team lost convincingly to the experienced ATP Sydney team, boasting touring professionals Adam Feeney, Nick Lindahl and Greg Jones.

With the winner the first player to reach four games, Bai, the most experienced in the Canberra Velocity women's team, opened with a 4-1, 4-3 win over Alex Osborne.

Keir, the sixth-ranked junior in Australia, fought off an early challenge from Natalie Barbir, winning 4-3 (5-4), 4-1; while NSW-based right-hander Tyra Calderwood beat Chloe Costello 4-3, 4-1.

Nicole Hoynaski then came home strongly to beat Tammy Srbinovski 3-4 (5-2), 4-1, 4-1.

The women made it a clean sweep in the doubles with Bai and Calderwood too strong for Osborne and Caitlin Billingham, winning 4-0, 4-1, while Hoynaski and Keir didn't drop a single game against Chan and Bianca Chidrawi, registering a score line of 4-0, 4-0.

Team manager Annabel Ellwood was impressed by the competitiveness of her Velocity team.

''It's a great start for the women's team, the girls played really well,'' Ellwood said. ''It shows some promising signs for the weekend, when the competition will only get tougher.''

The men's team could only manage one doubles victory in its competition opener, losing all four singles matches.

Alex Bolt, the 19-year-old AIS-scholarship holder, lost his singles match in two close tie-breaker sets after tying Feeney at 3-3, while Bruce teenager Andrew Zedde lost 4-1, 4-1 to seasoned campaigner Lindahl.

In a battle of the retirees, Alun Jones was pipped 4-1, 1-4, 4-0 by Ryan Henry, while rising teenager Nick Kygrios was outclassed 4-2, 4-1 by touring professional Matthew Barton.

In the doubles, Bolt and Zedde salvaged some pride for the men's team, beating Barton and Mitchell Pritchard 4-1, 4-2, while Jones and Damien Ward lost in a super tie-breaker to Henry and Luke Bourgeois 3-4 (3-5) 4-2, 10-4.

Jones said the loss would make them more determined for the home ties at the weekend.

''We were up against a really tough team tonight, we gave it everything but fell a little short,'' he said.

''We will learn from this experience this weekend.''

Canberra Velocity will play its first home ties of the new domestic league competition in a double-header at the National Sports Centre in Lyneham on Saturday and Sunday.

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