30 December 2008
Ex-Hawera man (now Brisbane-based pro tennis coach), Frayne Bloor took out the Men's Open Singles at Hawera Lawn Tennis courts. Bloor showed he had lost none of his exquisite skills on grass to defeat Jaden Grinter (Waik), 6-4 6-4. Bloor broke serve in the very first game and with every other game going with serve, he took the first set 6-4. All games again went with serve in the second set until Bloor had a rare break point on Grinter’s serve at 4-4. Bloor tried a drop shot which hit the top of the net and fell back and the opportunity seemed to have been lost. However, Grinter hit the next point wide and this time Bloor made no mistakes, breaking serve to lead 5-4. He then held serve to capture his fourth Open Men's singles title (1991, 1993, 1999, 2008). Both players have excellent first serves but both struggled to put them in when needed and they had to rely on a variety of powerful baseline drives, delicate drop shots and excellent net play to compensate. Oakura man, John Hardie Boys won the singles plate.
Bloor then teamed up with his regular doubles partner from the 1990's, Nick Margison (Akld) to win their first Open doubles title, defeating Grinter and Jordan Fleming (Manaia) 6-4 6-0. When questioned as to why they had never won a Taranaki Open Doubles title previously, Nick Margison offered the reason “because I had choked every other time”.
The Open Combined title went to Nick Caton and Paige Hourigan (both Wanganui) defeating Taranaki pair Amrit Rai and Hine Wilson, 9-6.
Paige Hourigan would certainly be the youngest Open Ladies singles winner when she defeated Hine Wilson 6-3 6-3. Pint-sized Hourigan is only 11 years old but handles a racquet with the skill and strength of a much older person. Hourigan raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set, lost the next 3 games to Wilson who seemed to be gaining some composure, but was then able to close out the first set at 6-3. Hourigan broke serve in the 1st and 5th games of the 2nd set to lead 4-2; had a slight hiccup to drop serve in the next game, but then recovered to win the 2nd set 6-3.
As well as the Open singles, Hourigan won the Open Mixed Doubles, 16’s girl’s singles, 16’s girl’s doubles (with Rebecca Atkins (Rotokare)) and was runner-up with Taranaki's Rebecca Atkins in the Open Ladies doubles. The Doubles were won by Taranaki pair, Hine Wilson and Miaana Walden.
Other Taranaki winners from Day 3 and 4 were:
Tei Walden (Oakura) / Amrit Rai (Huatoki)-16 Boys Doubles winners
Grinter (Waik) / Fleming (Manaia)-18 boys doubles winners
Brigid Annabell (Hawera) / Alice Caskey (Huatoki)-14 girls’ doubles winners
Alice Caskey (Huatoki) – 14 Girl’s singles champion