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The good Aussie custom of members of the family getting collectively to whack some fluffy yellow balls round a courtroom was evident all through the period of Nation Week 2024.

Wodonga, Victoria, 20 February 2024 | Courtney Walsh

Harley Langstaff had a message for his grandfather Neil because the patriarch of the Leongatha clan stepped on to the courtroom for a Tennis Victoria Nation Week grand closing on Friday.

It had been a busy morning for the nine-year-old, who helped his dad Joel and the remainder of the Langstaff household heat up for the match in between working drinks and cheering the workforce on.

The expertise of per week away in Wodonga and Albury, the place three generations of the identical household represented Leongatha, whetted his urge for food and he wished in on the motion.

“He advised me, ‘It’s important to play for no less than one other 5 years, so I get the prospect to play with you’,” Neil Langstaff advised tennis.com.au.

It was a dramatic morning for the workforce, with the grandfather tearing a calf muscle throughout a closing the Leongatha L’s gained by one recreation over the Merry Marshians from Bacchus Marsh.

The Part 11 workforce led by Langstaff additionally featured his sons Ethan and Joel Langstaff, whereas Harley’s elder brother Zac, 16, loved his first Nation Week triumph within the decider.

“It’s one thing that I’m tremendous happy with, to have the ability to play in a workforce with my father and my brother and my son,” Joel Langstaff mentioned.

“The most effective factor about Nation Week is seeing gamers of so many alternative ages and sizes and shapes and talent, and also you go searching and get a reminder that it’s a nice life-style and that tennis is nice in your long-term well being.

“It’s such a constructive factor for the boys to have so many good function fashions round.”

The good Aussie custom of members of the family getting collectively to whack some fluffy yellow balls round a courtroom was evident all through the period of Nation Week 2024.

READ MORE: World’s greatest grass-court occasion a success in Albury-Wodonga

It’s not fairly a tennis model of the fact present Farmer Desires A Spouse however there have been loads of {couples} competing within the Albury-Wodonga groups occasion who partnered by way of the game.

Dairy farmer Robin and Anne Albert met at Nation Week in Albury-Wodonga in 1988 and famous how lucky they’re that their shared love of tennis introduced them collectively.

It took some persistence from Robin, the oldest participant at Nation Week this 12 months, however the couple mentioned the one argument they’ve ever had since is about who’s the luckier one on account of their first assembly.

“He lived two hours away and some nights (after Nation Week) he rang and mentioned, ‘I’m a reporter from The Age and I heard you gained your part’ (and requested) to do an interview,” Anne advised Tennis Victoria.

“He then mentioned, ‘If you are right here, I must inform you you had been within the firm of a identified legal named Robin Albert’ and I mentioned, ‘Yeees?’. After which he cracked up (and) advised me who he was and requested me out.

“We acquired to know one another and we went out a few instances after which he would drive up two hours after he had finished his farm work and have a cup of tea after which go dwelling.

“You’ll be able to see why I used to be hooked. It was one thing I’d always remember. He’s simply wonderful. He is a superb husband, great father and you may see why I like him a lot.”

Pat Flynn, a Nation Week “legend”, competed in what his son-in-law Matt Allen believes was his sixtieth version as an lively participant in Melbourne or in cities alongside the Murray River.

Allen, a Wangaratta farmer and his son Sam, had been amongst a robust workforce who represented the Hume Hornets in Division 1, whereas the elder Flynn had one other nice week with mates.

Nation Week has additionally been type to Kieran Fitzgerald, who was inducted to “legend” standing this 12 months 50 years after enjoying in his first version of the occasion at Kooyong 50 years in the past.

The Bendigo resident has missed the occasion solely as soon as and that was to get married in 1976.

His daughter Casey met her husband Brandt Fleming whereas enjoying Nation Week and his son Aidan is as famend for his very good tennis on the event as he’s for developing with inventive names for the groups he leads.

“Turning into a ‘legend’ simply means you might be outdated. It’s not going to make a distinction to me,” Kieran Fitgerald mentioned.

“It has been nice to see the children come by way of. However I’ve to maintain it a bit low key as a result of Julie (my spouse) doesn’t come, so I can’t be seen to be too enthusiastic about it.”

As a younger boy, Aidan Fitzgerald can bear in mind going to observe his dad play tennis and mentioned he “at all times smiled and simply cherished it and that’s infectious”. It helped him catch the tennis bug.

Fitzgerald, who recorded an ATP Tour rating in doubles, performed collegiate tennis within the US in Tennessee and Texas and has performed at skilled occasions around the globe.

However he’s not shocked so many households have bonded at Nation Week given the passion of the individuals and the camaraderie that’s evident on and off the courtroom.

“There actually is nothing like this on the earth. You marvel how all these folks can take per week off work, however after getting performed one, you’ll be able to perceive why,” Aidan mentioned.

“Dad’s teammates come round just a few days earlier than the occasion yearly and so they have just a few hits and begin the planning. They’re as excited as little children earlier than the primary week of college.

“He’s in his 70s and on the morning of Nation Week, he’s packed the evening earlier than and able to go and at 5am, he is able to head out the door.”

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