The 2019 NSW Country Tennis Championships came to a close on Friday, July 12, following more than 1,000 matches and a number of social and educational events.
The week-long tournament attracted over 500 competitors to Forster, plus numerous supporters, spectators, special guests and event staff.
Tennis NSW event liaison Brendan Lee described the championships as the pinnacle of country tennis, with 2019 the strongest year yet.
"Both number-wise and field-wise it's a stronger field than we've benched previously," he said.
Forster's Brenton Chambers won the blue ribbon AMT men's event for the second time, successfully defending his 2018 title against former world-ranked player Jonathon Cooper from Gosford.
Twenty-two-year-old Chambers said it was a strong field and he felt the pressure of last year's win leading in to the event.
"There was a bit of pressure and expectation early on but once I started to play matches I relaxed and was really pleased with how I played," he admitted.
Number one seed Grace Schumacher from Bathurst won the AMT women's event, defeating Forster's Laia Pasin in the final.
Pasin was the number two seed and also finished runner-up in the tournament last year.
Mr Lee said in addition to the competitive side of the tournament, Tennis NSW also offered social and educational opportunities at the championships in an effort to broaden its appeal.
"In recent years we've really tried to make it an event, not just a tournament," he said.
The championships kicked off with a players party on Friday, July 5 and also featured coaching courses, a women's brunch, a Q and A with ex-professional players Sam Groth, Mark Edmundson, John Marks and Kim Warwick, and the much-anticipated business house pro-am, which was won by the Nepean District Tennis Association.
The final few days of the tournament were dominated by the junior category of the championships, with 340 players aged between eight and 18 vying to win their respective divisions.
Mr Lee said there was a lot of prestige in the junior competition.
"They all want to win," he said.
"There's so much history to this event."
Aaron Osmond won the 16-year boys while Mika Hosoi won the 16-year girls.
Forster Tennis Club has hosted the country championships for the past three years and will continue to host it for the next three following a successful bid earlier this year.
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