23 December 2005

Hawera Sportsworld Taranaki Tennis Open Preview

Dec 27-Dec 30 2005

Patrick Metham (Wgtn) and Tristan Stayt (Wkto) are the top two seeds in the Menís Open Singles at the 2005 Hawera Sportsworld Taranaki Tennis Open.  Both teenagers have an ITF Junior World ranking; Patrick at 1097= and Tristan at 1739=.  They will have some strong opposition from a predominantly younger-looking field than in past years.  Likely to challenge them for honours are Wilton Atkins (Wang), Kurt McNamara (Mwtu) and the Taranaki trio of Zac Wills, Cameron Koch & Jonathan Ussher.

In the Menís Open Doubles, Patrick Metham and Tristan Stayt combine to become the top seeds.  Wilton Atkins and Kurt McNamara are the second seeds.  Two former Taranaki representative players from the 1980ís, Kevin Bennett and Randall Croon, have joined forces to test the fitness and skill level against much younger opponents.

Twice beaten finalist in the Ladies Open Singles, Nicole Koch (Manaia), becomes top seed this year after the title-holder for the past two years, Gayle Tapper (Akld) has not returned to defend her title.  Second seed is Alice Wiggin (KapiMana).  Alice won the Ladies Open Doubles in 2004 with her sister, Rheanna and they have joined forces to defend that title.

The tournament welcomes back a squad of seven Australians including Ethan Tulliani and James Bullivant who are former age group titleholders at this tournament. 

This yearís tournament has seen the revival of the 18ís age group and combined with 16ís through to 10ís, the best juniors will be displaying their impressive talents on the natural grass courts at the Hawera Lawn Tennis & Squash Club facilities.  The tournament starts on Tuesday 27th for age groups, Wednesday 28th for adult grades and runs through to Friday 30th.