Title-winning Ipswich player Josh Barrenechea chats
to Davis Cup coach and Australian tennis great Todd
Woodbridge at Saturday night's Gallipoli Cup Gala
HIGHLY motivated Ipswich duo Ashleigh Barty and Josh Barrenechea deserved the huge hugs they received after achieving milestones at Leichhardt on Saturday.
Barty displayed her cool temperament and sizzling class by beating New Zealander Emily Fanning 7-5, 6-1 in the Australian International Junior Grade 4 girls singles final.
The unstoppable Springfield teenager has won 18 games in a row to secure three consecutive national titles for the first time.
"It was probably one of my better games this week," Barty said, having won the national claycourt 14s and 16s titles the previous two weeks.
"I get a few points out of this so my rank will go up a little bit."
Minutes later on the adjacent court at George Alder Tennis Centre, Barrenechea won the boys 18 years and under singles final 6-2, 6-1 over another Queenslander Mark Richards.
It was his first International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tournament win.
"It was a tough battle at the start and I got the first lucky break," Barrenechea said.
"I just stayed solid out there. I just focused on how I was playing."
Both players enjoyed hearty encouragement from family and friends.
Barty's fan club included young cousins wearing red "Team Barty" shirts.
"It embarrassed me but it's good," the 13-year-old said with a beaming grin.
Barrenechea rushed over to his supportive aunt Olga Lamb after winning his final in convincing fashion.
The tenacious right-hander with strong Ipswich ties is after a sponsor to help him become a tennis professional.
"It's a tough sport," he said, having just turned 18.
"I'm looking for anyone who is willing to help out with tournaments and all the travelling and stuff.
"This week on clay, I had some tough games but that's what you have to deal with.
"I play these to lead into the pro circuit where my main goal is. I'll keep at it."
The incredible Ipswich pair later received more encouragement when Davis Cup coach Todd Woodbridge presented their winning trophies.
However, it was on the Ipswich clay courts where the duo displayed their many talents.
Barty impressed with her immaculate timing, crisp hitting and delicate drop shots on big points.
Even Fanning was clapping late in the game as Barty unleashed an array of powerful passing shots, including the match winner.
"She was a little bit nervous," Barty said, seizing on her opponent's weakness.
"The pressure got to her a little bit but I got through it so it was good."
Bubbling with confidence, Barty handled the warm and breezy conditions with ease. "It was pretty windy but I'm used to playing in the wind so it suited my game," she said.
"We both have pretty similar game styles so it was tough to get through that first set. But once I got on top, I was able to follow through with it."
Barty and Barrenechea will continue their campaigns at the Gallipoli Cup tournament in Ipswich this week.
"I'm hoping to take this (solid form) on to the next couple of weeks (Gallipoli Cup and Ipswich Pro Tour)," Barrenechea said.
Showing his love of tennis, Barrenechea attended Saturday night's gala dinner at the Metro Hotel Ipswich International.
Australian International Junior Grade 4 tournament finals in Ipswich:
Girls singles (seed in brackets): Ashleigh Barty d Emily Fanning (4) 7-5, 6-1.
Boys singles: Josh Barrenechea d Mark Richards (4) 6-2, 6-1.
Boys doubles: Jordan Thompson/Jake Wynan (4) d Luke Immanuel Harvey and Kieren Thompson 6-1, 2-6, 10-3.
Girls doubles: Kassandra Dunser/Brooke Rischieth (2) d Teiwa Casey/Emily Fanning (1) 6-1, 7-6.