11 Feb 2012

The pinnacle of tennis supremacy within the Central Distrists, the Christie Cup, is gracing the trophy cabinet of the Taranaki Tennis Association today, due an outstanding 20-4 win against long-time rivals Manawatu.  Taranaki were anticipating top New Zealand player Victor Romero to play at 1, however Romero didnít travel.  Outstanding performances came from our top two of Jordan Fleming and Nicole Koch.  Fleming is now 2-1 in head to head against Manawatu's number 1, Kurt McNamara.  The match went to 3 sets, with Fleming winning 6-1 3-6 6-3.  Nicole Koch took a little time to warm up in her match against her opponent Bridget Dickens.  Koch was just too strong and once she found her rhythm showed why she is by far the best ladies player in the region.  Koch won her singles 7-6 6-2, paired with Alice Caskey to win 6-0 7-5 against Dickens and Shenae Salisbury, then joined brother Cameron to play Manawatu captain Sam Howard and Anika Patel (9-3). 

The Taranaki side would be the youngest fielded in some time with captain Michael Fleming, seeing a strong future for the Taranaki Team.  Fleming, being one of the three players in the squad of 12 older than thirty had an easy day out.  At the age of 46, he dispatched his opponent Sam Collins 6-2 6-2, in doubles with 13 year old Ajeet Rai, won 6-2 6-3 against Gary Crosswell and Jamie Hooper.  Fleming then played combines with Alice Caskey winning 9-1 playing Crosswell and Chantelle Rossouw.  Tania L'Ami, at two, played Sam Rowe winning 7-6 6-0, then together with Miaana Walden won their doubles 6-3 6-0 against Megan Small and Anika Patel.  In the top combines L'Ami and Jordan Fleming played McNamara and Shenae Salisbury to win 9-1.  Kirsten Adam had a mixed day out with 2 victories from 3 matches. Adam's singles went her way 6-1 6-0 over Manawatu 14s representative Anika Patel.  In the doubles, Adam played with debutant Sophie Robertson and were unable to win a three setter (6-1 1-6 6-4) against Sam Rowe and Chantelle Rossouw.  Combines saw Adam join fellow Pukekura Park team mate Callum Old winning against Sam Collins and Bridget Dickens 6-3 before Manawatu defaulted due to injury. 

Debutant Ajeet Rai had a tough initiation to Senior Representative Tennis, having to go to a third set to win his singles against Damen Silk (3-6 6-3 6-2).  Ajeet Rai combined with veteran Michael Fleming for doubles and then fellow debutant Sophie Robertson in the combines.  Rai and Robertson just being pipped at the end, in the tie-breaker losing 9-8.  Robertson was within reach of winning each of her three matches but things just didn't go her way.  Her singles went to three sets with Robertson losing to Shenae Salisbury 2-6 6-0 7-5, then doubles also going to a third set.  The other age group representative in this senior squad was Alice Caskey playing at 3.  Caskey despatched her opponent Chantelle Rossouw in a 6-2 6-2 victory then won in the top doubles with Nicole Koch and capped that with a win in the combines with Michael Fleming. 

Amrit Rai and Callum Old both had easy wins in singles.  Rai over Sam Howard 6-1 6-4 and Old against Gary Crosswell 6-1 6-2.  The two then playing doubles together against Jacob Carey and Sam Collins, were taken to a third set which ended in a tie-breaker going the way of Taranaki.    Rai and Old both won their combines, Rai with Miaana Walden and Old with Kirsten Adam.  Miaana Walden also was taken to a third set in her singles against Megan Small. Walden speed out to a 6-1 win in the first, losing the second 3-6 then taking the third 7-5. 

Manawatu's four games included a singles win to Jacob Carey over Taranaki number 2 Cameron Koch, 6-1 6-1. Koch then won the top doubles with Manaia team mate Jordan Fleming against McNamara and Howard in what some would call a surprising 7-5 6-2 win.   

Taranaki have no further challenges for the cup this season so the trophy will remain in Taranaki until next season.