Photos from the Dave Matthews Seniors Tournament

Friendly but competitive tennis were the keys to making the Dave Matthews Seniors Tournament a success – and a success it was, organisers have said.

The annual tournament, which has been running in Nelson Bay for 17 years, attracted a total of 231 competitors this year.

Across the three day tournament, held December 1 to 3, 602 games of tennis were played on the 19 courts available around the Tomaree Peninsula.

“I couldn’t be happier with how it all went,” tournament director Steve Taylor said.

“Everyone left with a big smile on their face. 

“We weren’t washed out, which is what we were concerned about, and we got through every event.

“We’ve had some feedback on how we can improve next year, but aside from that we’ve had nothing but positive comments.”

The tournament, hosted by Nelson Bay Tennis Club, is for players aged 35 and above.

Courts in Nelson Bay, Fingal Bay, Shoal Bay, Soldiers Point and Boat Harbour are used for the tournament, which is the last event on the seniors calendar and also one of the largest in NSW.

It is named after the late Dave Matthews, the tournament founder and a former Nelson Bay Tennis Club player.

For the third year in a row, Sydney tennis player George Penny won the Dave Matthews trophy event which was played on Saturday, December 2.

Penny paired with Mike Raymundo. Together the pair defeated Greg Scott and Pat Staunton, also from Sydney.

Raymundo also played in the Friday afternoon exhibition match, filling in for Luke Ramkovic. He paired with Nelson Bay Tennis Club president Rod Stubbs to verse the club’s coach and Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer.

In front of a crowd of about 80 people who had gathered at Nelson Bay tennis courts to watch the match, Denison and Palmer defeated Raymundo and Stubbs 6-4, 6-4.

Stubbs had success in his tournament events, posting a win in the men’s doubles with ACT player Graeme Rossiter and two third placings.

A total of 17 Bay tennis players entered the tournament this year. 

“There were a few runners up in their categories, which was great to see,” Taylor said.

Of the 231 players this year, 36 more players than last year, about 80 were new to the Bay tournament. A contingent from the ACT entered the Bay tournament for the first time this year.

“We could still take more, but we’re nearing capacity in terms of available courts,” Taylor said. “If there were more courts available to us we could increase our numbers.”

The tournament also doubles as the club’s major fundraiser.

From Monday

Nelson Bay was a hot bed of tennis action on the weekend.

More than 230 senior tennis players from across NSW and the ACT were in the Bay between December 1 and 3 for the Dave Matthews Seniors Tournament.

Hosted by Nelson Bay Tennis Club, the tournament for tennis players aged 35 and above is the last seniors event on the calendar for the year. It is also one of the largest competitions.

Across the weekend, tennis was played on the courts at Nelson Bay, Fingal Bay, Shoal Bay, Soldiers Point and Boat Harbour.

Day one of the tournament, which began Friday morning, concluded with a doubles exhibition match.

About 80 people turned out at the Nelson Bay courts on Friday afternoon to watch Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer and Nelson Bay Tennis Club coach Blake Denison verse the club’s president Rod Stubbs and Mike Raymundo. 

Raymundo filled in at the last minute for Palmer’s regular tennis partner Luke Ramkovic.

The exhibition match provided spectators with a show of tennis skill as well as laughs including one point in the match when Palmer reversed roles with Examiner journalist Ellie-Marie Watts.

Palmer swapped Watts, who had been taking photos of the game on the sidelines, his racquet for her camera and took some snaps while she returned a serve from Raymundo.

Examiner journalist Ellie-Marie Watts pretending to know how to play tennis (very poorly) in the place of Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer during Friday's exhibition match. Picture: Ryan Palmer

Examiner journalist Ellie-Marie Watts pretending to know how to play tennis (very poorly) in the place of Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer during Friday's exhibition match. Picture: Ryan Palmer