30 December 2009

2009 REAL SPORTS Taranaki Tennis Open Review

Left to Right: Jordan Fleming, 16's Champion; James Weir, 10's Champion; Thomas Brown, 18's Champion

The Real Sports Taranaki Open was played over 4 days and concluded late on the 30th December. 

The tournament combines junior and senior events and allows grades where the juniors can play with and against the adults.  147 individual entrants made Hawera home for the 4 days of the tournament and competed for the $4,700 in cash and prizes.  307 individual matches were played on the 7 natural grass and 2 astroturf courts.  During a rain delay, several games were moved indoors to the new Hub sports complex.

Ladies Open Singles

Kelly Southwood ousted the reigning champion, Paige Hourigan, in her semi-final match with some power hitting.  The other semi-final was a walkover for Suzanne Spencer when Nicole Koch had to withdraw due to an infected foot.  In the final, whilst a close match, 16 year old Kelly Southwood had just enough ammunition to defeat Suzanne Spencer.  The first set went to 4-4 all and then Southwood broke to lead 5-4 before holding serve to close out the set 6-4.  In the second set, Southwood got an early break and held it to go on and win 6-4 6-4.

Ladies Open Doubles

Paige Hourigan had her revenge over Southwood in the Open Ladies Doubles when she combined with Saravinder Pannu to win over Kelly Southwood and her mother Linda, 6-2 6-2.


Mens Open Singles

Frayne Bloor (No.1 seed) [formerly Hawera but now a pro tennis coach in Brisbane] progressed to the final of the event that he won last year by defeating Taranakiís Chris Brown, 6-1 6-3; then Glenio Zanella (Brazil) 6-4 6-3, before winning over his good friend and doubles partner Nick Margison (Akld) in one semi-final 6-3 6-0.  On the other side of the draw, Kurt McNamara (8th seed) defeated Andrew Powell (Hawera) 6-1 6-1, Jordan Fleming (Manaia) 7-6(5) 7-6(5), then defeating the No.2 seed Jono Hurley in the semi-final.  Jono Hurley was suffering from a bad case of tennis elbow which didnít help his chances.  McNamara then defeated Simon Cleaver (Akld) 7-5 6-3 in the semi-final.

Onto the final, Bloor raced through the first set winning 6-1 and raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set.  McNamara fought back throughout the set to have the score at 5-3.  Bloor maintained the pressure and converted his fourth match point to win the Menís singles 6-1 6-3.


Menís Open Doubles

Frayne Bloor and Nick Margison took on the talented Wellington twins, Sam and Luke Piercey.  The semi-final matches were both thrillers with Bloor/Margison having to dig deep to stave of the challenge of Simon Cleaver and Richard Nieper ((Akld) 6-0 2-6 6-1, whilst the Piercey twins upset the No.1 seeds Jordan Fleming and Simon OíLeary 1-6 7-6(7) 6-4.

In the final Bloor/Margison again started well taking the first set 6-1.  It appeared to be business as usual for the old friends, when at 5-2 up in the 2nd set, Bloor lost his serve for the first time.  The Pierceys held serve which then put the pressure on Nick Margison to carry the pair to victory.  Margison served a flawless tenth game to take the 2nd set 6-4.

Open Mixed Doubles

Defending champions Nick Caton and Paige Hourigan had had a torrid time in the singles events, both having been bundled out but they saved some of their best tennis for the mixed doubles.  Caton/Hourigan (Wang) took the first set in a tiebreak against Simon OíLeary (Wang)/Suzanne Spencer (Well) but then the wheels started to fall off.  OíLeary/Spencer convincingly took the second set 6-1.  Due to fading light, a third set super-tiebreak was played, with Caton/Hourigan holding their nerve to secure the victory 7-6(4) 1-6 10-6


Age Groups event winners

18 Boys: Thomas Brown (Taranaki)

16 Boys: Jordan Fleming (Taranaki)

14 Boys: Nick Forrest (Manawatu)

12 Boys: Kiranpal Pannu (Wellington)

10 Boys: James Weir (Taranaki)

16 Girls: Kelly Southwood (Wellington)

14 Girls: Saravinder Pannu (Wellington)

12 Girls: Dayna Corbett (Taranaki)

10 Girls: Hikaru Han (Taranaki)