GABBY O’Gorman and Emily Osmond, Gunnedah’s Golden Girls of tennis, have returned from their month-long tour of southern France where they took on some of Europe’s best young players.
Seven tournaments in 21 days tested the girls, who were accompanied by Grafton’s Georgia Allen and Brittany Huxley, with 15-year-old Gabby stunning the clay court specialists by taking out the Monte Carlo Under 16 years tournament in a gruelling three-set marathon lasting three hours.
Proud mum Trish O’Gorman said the win stunned the French who regard the red clay as their own.
“Gabby won 3-6, 6-1,6-4 and then followed up with two more three set marathons in a schedule which had been disrupted by the weather,” Trish said.
“I was completely overcome when I heard of the win.
“To stand on centre court at Monte Carlo, where the worlds best players regularly play, and hold aloft the trophy after winning against the best players in France, was unbelievable.
The quartet, accompanied by Gunnedah coach and mentor Dale Martin, who is also Brit Huxley’s uncle, were based in Nice, in the south of France overlooking the pristine white sands and sparkling Mediterranean waters which are the playground of the rich and famous.
The girls took on some the top players from across the country and have returned with the experience that tournament play in their home country just can’t provide.
“After my win in Monte Carlo I had to play another three-setter and then a third tough match in Bignal, which is not far from Nice,” Gabby said.
“Often we had to play against opponents who are much older but the experience is invaluable.”
One of the girls Gabby took to the third set, going down 4-6, is based full time at the French Tennis Academy at Roland Garros, the home of French tennis.
“Gabby spent over eight hours on the court in one day and the girls all had tough schedules but no-one is complaining,” Trish O’Gorman added.
“Dale said the girls were tremendous ambassadors for tennis and Australia and they had a great time, fitting in a little sight-seeing as well.
“It was the trip of a life time and now it is back to the routine of school and of course, less spectacular settings for junior and open tournaments scattered around the eastern seaboard of NSW.
Since returning to Australia Gabby has played in a junior tournament in Tamworth, The Platinum Open, and beat Gosford’s Jasmine King in the Under 18 singles at Sawtell last weekend.
In the Open Singles she made the quarter finals against the best all-age players in NSW, and the semi-finals of the doubles, partnering Queensland’s Kyra Yap.
Next week Gabby is off to Grafton for that city’s Open tournament but will squeeze in a quick trip to Moree this Sunday for the Junior Development round which she needs to play to keep her ranking.
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