Tennis West State League: Hensman Park aiming for back-to-back men’s and women’s championships

Ben SmithThe West Australian
Hensman Park team captains Anja Dokic (23) and Evan Manso.
Camera IconHensman Park team captains Anja Dokic (23) and Evan Manso. Credit: Andrew Ritchie/Perth Now

They may have a target on their back this season, but Hensman Park Tennis Club expects nothing less as they prepare to defend their dual State League titles.

The South Perth-based club won both the men’s and women’s State League championships last season and are already eyeing up another title tilt this season.

Last year’s women’s championship was the club’s first since 2013, while the men are seeking their third title in fourth years – the only year they did not win was the cancelled 2019-20 season.

Hensman Park’s men got their season underway with a 5-1 win over Mt Lawley 5-1, while their women beat Greenwood by the same scoreline.

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Hensman Park men’s co-captain Evan Manso said while the team was confident they could go back-to-back-to-back, they were taking nothing for granted.

“I definitely feel like all the other clubs are out to get us. Every team gets stronger, people start hitting a bit more,” he said.

“It’s always tough; it’s never easy to win a State League title. I feel like we’re still the team to beat at the moment.”

Team Captain Evan Manso (22), the Tennis West State League begins on Saturday and The West is streaming one game a week online this year. Hensman Park won both the men’s and women’s championship last Andrew Ritchie
Camera IconTeam Captain Evan Manso (22), the Tennis West State League begins on Saturday and The West is streaming one game a week online this year. Hensman Park won both the men’s and women’s championship last Andrew Ritchie Credit: Andrew Ritchie/Perth Now

Women’s captain Anja Dokic said they had brought back their close-knit, title-winning team from last year and they were hoping it would prove to be a winning formula once more.

“Everyone was saying our team was really close. We chat almost every single day, see each other almost every single day.

“We had a great season last season, we weren’t really on top at all throughout the season but ended up winning the whole thing.”

Dokic said she was also looking forward to an expanded women’s league, with two extra teams joining the mix.

“There’s a little bit more pressure because there’s more people to play this time, but I reckon it’ll be really good.”

After facing Dalkeith Tennis Club in the final for their past two championship wins, Manso predicted they would again be among the favourites for the men’s title.

Anja Dokic.
Camera IconAnja Dokic. Credit: Andrew Ritchie/Perth Now

He said helping the club to a third consecutive title would be special, and the confidence which came from their previous success would hold them in good stead.

“It’s a bit of confidence going into the season, knowing we can come through the hard matches and even if the season doesn’t get off to the best start, we can always pull through in the big matches,” he said.

“We’ve got the same team as last year, so there’s confidence in each other, knowing in the big moments we can all step up and play good tennis.”

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