Lismore’s Singapore sling

SPORTING HOLIDAY: Tennis-loving brothers Jie Dong, 14, and Chen Dong, 10, from Singapore, will be hoping to star at the Lismore Open Championships starting today.
SPORTING HOLIDAY: Tennis-loving brothers Jie Dong, 14, and Chen Dong, 10, from Singapore, will be hoping to star at the Lismore Open Championships starting today. Doug Eaton

BROTHERS Jie and Chen Dong will be among the unknown quantities at the Lismore Open Championships.

The tennis-mad pair live in Singapore but have entered the tournament while their family holiday here.

Both are ranked among their country's top juniors.

Their father, Jin Song Dong, said the pair, who were born in Australia and travel back here every summer, were playing the event as part of a mini-tennis tour of the eastern states.

"We were looking at tournaments that the children could play," he said.

"We were heading from Sydney to Brisbane and Lismore is on the way up.

"There are so many tournaments here (in Australia) so we knew we could find something in the holidays for them to play.

"We also heard good things about the organisation of the tournament and (organiser) John Stoddart, so we thought we would stop here."

Dr Dong used to work in Australia, but he and his family moved to Singapore in 1998 after he took up a professor's position at the Australian National University.

The brothers, aged 14 and 10, are already ranked highly in their age divisions in Singapore.

Despite his tender years, Jie is playing in the AMT men's singles at the Lismore Tennis Club event.

He is also contesting the 18 years and under boys singles at the tournament, which will run from today until Sunday.

Players from across the eastern states are contesting the event, with singles and doubles in open and various age divisions.

Jie will also play in the Ballina New Year Open next week before the family heads home later this month.

Dr Dong said he was happy for his sons to be involved in the sport.

"It gets them away from their X-Boxes and computers," he said.

"We love coming back to Australia and we are happy to be in Lismore."

Topics:  lismore open championships

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