19 January 2009

Auckland's Dianne Hollands yesterday picked up her seventh professional tennis tournament win this summer.
She took out the women's open singles at the New Zealand Money Tennis Tournament (NZMT) at the Hawera lawn courts.

The No 3-seeded touring pro, playing her first tournament on grass, proved too strong for Kairangi Vano, also of Auckland, beating the No 1 seed 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 in a hard-fought final.

The success was Hollands sixth in the NZMT series and her seventh professional tournament win of the summer.

She netted $2000, with Vano taking home $900.

In the semifinal, Hollands beat No 2 seed Shona Lee 6-2, 6-4 and in the other semifinal Vano defeated Brittany Teei 6-2, 6-2.

In the men's open singles final, Wairarapa's Marcus Daniell and tournament No 1 was too good for Aucklander and former world junior No 1 Steven Downs, winning 6-3, 6-3.

Daniell had to battle hard in his semifinal to beat New Zealand No 9 Finn Tearney, playing three sets before taking the tiebreaker 14-12. In the other men's semifinal, Downs beat New Zealand No 5 and fellow Aucklander Adam Thompson.

Tournament co-ordinator Andrew Baylis yesterday said the only hiccup during the event was play being interrupted after 43mm of rain fell early yesterday before clearing at 8.30am.

"We were back playing by 12.30pm," Baylis said.

"Once the sun came out the courts dried very quickly."

Baylis said visiting players were full of praise for both the Hawera lawn courts and the organisation of the three-day tournament.

"All the ones I spoke to said they wanted to come back next year and would be telling other players what a good tournament it was."