Five months off the circuit as he recovered from a range of injuries did no harm to the fortunes of tennis ace Nicholas Barnier.
The Armidale School student was selected as the number three seed in the Combined Athletic Association of Great Public Schools Tennis team after a host of solid performances on Sunday.
The first ever trials to select a GPS representative tennis for the Combined Independent Schools championships attracted 21 boys from all nine GPS schools to the courts at Shore School in Sydney.
In his first two matches Barnier defeated the top seeded players from both The King’s School and St Joseph’s College in extended sets 8-5, before going down in the semis by a similar margin to Justin Dong from Newington who finished the day on top of the ladder, ahead of school mate Eric Tripathi.
“It was very competitive tennis and some of the players were a bit shocked to see TAS there, so it was good to be able to surprise them," he said.
“I was let down by my double faults and only held serve a few times, but otherwise I felt I played pretty well.”
Barnier has long been active on the Australian junior tennis circuit.
Prior to a right shoulder injury was ranked eighth in NSW and in the top 25 in Australia for his age.
The selected eight will represent GPS at the CIS trials to be held on February 20 at The King’s School against Combined Associated Schools, Combined High Schools and Combined Catholic Colleges.
The top eight from that tournament will then make the NSW schoolboy team to play the inter-state Pizzey Cup.
“I’ve missed a lot of tournaments over the past five months due to injuries and have been building up with heaps of training, so it’s great that that has paid off and I’m able to have a crack at the next level,” he said.