By Alesha Capone
Tarneit’s Tony Warland is an ace tennis official.
Mr Warland has been named one of three finalists in the Official of the Year category at the annual Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards, which will be held on May 22.
He said he was “pretty excited” when a Tennis Australia employee rang him to say he would be nominated for the award.
Mr Warland is an International Tennis Federation-qualified referee and is a linesperson. He has been officiating at tennis matches for 27 years, and for the past nine years has served at the national and state championships for players with an intellectual disability.
“I just love it,” Mr Warland said.
“They want to play by the rules and they don’t want any special treatment.”
Mr Warland has also officiated at 26 Australian Opens.
Warland said his “two biggest claims to fame” were being positioned on the baseline during a final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, and calling a serve in a final played by Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic.
Mr Warland encouraged anyone interested in becoming a linesperson or referee with Tennis Australia to visit tennis.com.au.