In the aftermath of Aaron Osmond’s tough defeat to Cooper Wilkinson in this year’s Gunnedah Tennis Club Championships, remaining focused was at the top of the to-do list for the 18-year-old who was determined to defend his North West title at West Tamworth on Sunday.
Despite Wilkinson’s absence from the event, Osmond was once again in dominant form, breezing to the championship.
He spoke to the Gunnedah Times about his change in focus.
“I think the biggest difference between the Gunnedah club championships and the North West was the depth,” Osmond said.
“There were 14 people in the draw and every single entrant was a quality player which you could see in my opening match, I played a guy called Zach Adams and only just beat him 6-4, 6-3.
“It was the same as everyone’s matches, they were all close. Even Craig Louis who is a great player, he went out to one of the Tamworth guys in the first round so it speaks to the depth in the tournament.”
On his way to the final, Osmond found his groove and heading into his second consecutive final in two years, the only option was to walk away with the trophy.
In his way was Vittorio Sardinha who has recently returned from boarding school in Sydney, at St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill. Playing in the school’s first grade tennis team, Sardinha offered a risky challenge to Osmond’s title defence.
The pair met in the semi-finals of the club championships in October where Osmond battled his way to victory before being beaten in the final in three sets by Wilkinson.
But in the final of the North West championships it was Sardinha he would have to beat and Osmond used all of his experience to defend the title as the score read 6-1, 6-3.
“I thought I played a very good match in the final and Vittorio played so well throughout the whole tournament,” Osmond said.
“I think I had a little bit more experience and a bigger game and I took advantage of the match.
“It was still really good tennis, there was just a few points here and there that I just got over the top of him that could have gone either way. I was just on the top of my game that day and managed to get the win.”
Although facing off against each other in the singles’ final, the pair partnered one another in the doubles and in similar fashion to 2021, Osmond claimed the singles, doubles and mixed titles.
Without his usual partner – his brother Andrew, Aaron said it was nice to play with someone younger who he could “mentor” on the court.
The partnership worked as planned as Osmond and Sardinha fought their way through the field to take home the championship.
Anna Bishop partnered Osmond in the mixed to retain their 2021 title.
In the women’s singles’ final, Taya Powell followed in Osmond’s footsteps and collected her second consecutive title in division one, beating Gunnedah’s Isabelle Moore.
Moore avenged her defeat, partnering with Ellie Ryan to beat out Powell and Jamie Herbert to win the double’s final.
In division two, Ben Robertson defeated Barry Wilson for the title while young-gun Amarni Louis, who won the division two Gunnedah club championship, finished runner-up in division two at Sunday’s North West championships.