26 Dec 2011

2011 REAL SPORTS Taranaki Tennis Open preview

Dec 27-Dec 30 2011  

New Plymouth man, Tristan Stayt, 23, will try and emulate his victory in 2007 when he won the Men’s Open Singles title at the “REAL SPORTS” Taranaki Tennis Open beginning in Hawera today.

Stayt has been living the tennis dream in the States for the last three years, playing tennis and studying at Liberty University, Virginia, on an academic and sporting scholarship.  Prior to that he worked/played at the Pat Cash Academy on the Gold Coast.

Stayt comes into the tournament as the No.2 seed and if seeding goes to plan, he will meet former South Taranaki man Jono Hurley in the final played on the natural grass surface.

Hurley is the No.1 seed and has flown over from Sydney where he is a tennis coach, to spend time with family in the Wairarapa.  Hurley was last years beaten finalist, going down to Kurt McNamara, who has chosen not to play this year but brings a troupe of juniors from the Manawatu to play the tournament.

Completing the men’s seeding in the 19-man draw are promising Auckland junior David Jiang (3) and Manaia’s Cameron Koch (4).

Others with chances to take the title are Frenchman Lucien Lemay, Durdamya Munibhargav (Akld) along with three sets of brothers; Olly and Sammy Sadler (Miramar), Dominic and Lucas Miller (Muritai), and Luke and Sam Piercey (Karori).  Taranaki will be represented by Jono Ussher, Amrit Rai, Callum Old, Beauden Fleming, David Geange and Len Adamson.     

In the Men’s Open Doubles, the top seeds are an interesting pairing of Tristan Stayt joining with Taranaki stalwart and veteran, Mike Fleming.  Fleming has won the doubles 5 times, along with 4 combined doubles titles and a solitary singles win between 1988-1995.

Their main opposition will be the French paring of Lucian Lemay and Gilles De Gouy.  De Gouy made it through singles qualifying at last weeks NZ Championships.

The Ladies Open Singles sees the welcome return of Manaia’s Nicole Koch as top seed.  Koch was singles champion in 2005 and 2006 and is favourite to make it a third title.  No.2 seed will be the defending champion Saravinder Pannu from Wellington.  Taranaki players Alice Caskey and Jenni White will be looking to upset the seedings and grab their own piece of glory.

Saravinder Pannu combines again with her mother, Jane, to try and emulate their Open Ladies doubles victory of last year. Attempting to stop them will be Manaia pairing of Nicole Koch and Maree Gopperth as well as New Plymouth pairing Alice Caskey and Frances Gray.

Also defending their title in the Open Combined doubles will be the Wellington team of Sam Piercey and Saravinder Pannu. Two Taranaki pairings, however, will be favoured to take this event.  Mike Fleming and Maree Gopperth along with the brother/sister combination of Cameron and Nicole Koch have a higher overall ranking.  2004 champions, Peter Lehrke and Deanne McCrea (Werder) also add spice to the mix.

In age group play, the star attractions will be NZ No.1 ranked 12u boy, Ajeet Rai (Huatoki), along with other nationally ranked players such as Kiranpal Pannu, Saravinder Pannu, the Sadler brothers, the Piercey brothers, Joshua Snowdon-Poole, Keiren Rooney and Nick Forrest.

120 entries have been received for the “Real Sports” Taranaki Tennis Open which will start today with the 10 and 14 age groups, followed by the 12, 16 and 18 age groups on the 28th.    The adult grades kick off on the 29th and the tournament concludes on the 30th.  Play begins daily from 9am on the natural grass courts at the Hawera Lawn Tennis & Squash Club facilities on Albion St, Hawera with free entry to the public.



Open Mens Singles: 1-Jono Hurley (Wair)), 2-Tristan Stayt (Tar), 3-David Jiang (Akld), 4-Cameron Koch (Tar)

Open Men’s Doubles: 1-Fleming/Stayt, 2-Lemay/DeGouy

Open Ladies Singles: 1-Nicole Koch (Tar), 2- Saravinder Pannu (Well)

18 Boys: 1-Luke Piercey (Well), 2-Amrit Rai (Taranaki)

16 Boys:  1- Olly Sadler (Well), 2- Dominic Miller (Well

16 Girls: 1-Saravinder Pannu (Well), 2-Alice Caskey (Tar)

14 Boys: 1- Kiranpal Pannu (Well), 2-Ajeet Rai (Tar

14 Girls: 1-Anika Patel (Manawatu), 2-Ruby Lawler (Well)

12 Boys: 1- Taylor Nelson Chch), 2-Joshua Snowdon-Poole (Well)

12 Girls: 1-Tamara Anderson (Well), 2-Hikaru Han (Tar)

10 Boys: 1-Patrick Joss (Well), 2-Caleb Fleming (Tar)

Tournament Controller: Andrew Baylis, Cell: 027 4965 672