IT proved to be a topsy-turvy affair yesterday for emerging Bundaberg player Luke Gerry, who suffered a disappointing exit from the Bundaberg State Age Championships.
A heartbreaking defeat in the championships final orchestrated by top seed and Rockhampton-based rival Jake Brown was a sour end to a promising campaign mounted by Gerry in the open event.
Brown clinched victory in the final set 6-4 capitalising on a few uncharacteristic unforced errors by Gerry.
“I went into that final set pretty aggressively and, in retrospect, I think I should have been a bit more cautious and a bit more patient,” he said.
The 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 loss closely mirrored the final of the Rockhampton State Age Championships on Tuesday, where Gerry also fell at the hands of the northern rival.
“It's been pretty disappointing for me,” he said.
“I was looking forward to getting a bit of revenge after Rocky and, after the second set I thought I would, but I couldn't get there in the end.”
The bitter pill has been made easier to swallow for Gerry by the news he has been invited to hone his racquet craft at the famed John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in San Antonio, Texas.
Besides receiving a few choice words of direction from the former No.1 and Wimbledon and Grand Slam winner, Gerry will undertake an intensive coaching program under his top coach Phil Hendry.
Gerry is hopeful that a bit of the former great's trademark speed and precision will rub off on him during his stay at the ranch.
“I think it's going to really sharpen up my game and hopefully they can help me identify a few areas of my game to work on,” he said.
After the coaching clinic Gerry will test what he has learned in American open events.
“It's going to be great to really challenge myself and see how I stack up over there,” he said.
Gerry will travel to America on November 30 and hopes the trip will help him prepare for next year's tournament season.
“I'm planning on training and playing full-time next year and having a serious go at the national tournament circuit, so this is going to be a good experience,” he said.