30 Dec 2021

Defending Taranaki Open / New Zealand Grass Court Championship Menís Open singles champion and No.2 seed, Diego Quispe-Kim took on the No.1 seed and six times champion, Ajeet Rai in the 2021 final.  22 year old Rai, the No.1 ranked NZ singles player on the ITF rankings, took the first set comfortably enough 6-3 but then his game started to wane, allowing 16 year old Quispe-Kim back into the match taking the second set 6-2.  The deciding set held high expectations for a good crowd at the Hawera Lawn Tennis courts but they were somewhat stunned to see Quispe-Kim race to a 4-1 lead with two service breaks and was able to close out the match 3-6 6-2 6-2.  Both finalists had made easy entry into the final with Rai defeating Benjamin Ranby-Al (Te Awamutu) 6-1 6-1 and Quispe-Kim bypassing Hamish Mead (Taranaki) 6-0 6-1.

There were no such problems for New Zealandís No.1 ranked female player, Paige Hourigan, as she comprehensibly defeated Christchurch teenager Nishitha Maarka 6-0 6-0 in the Womenís singles final.

Hourigan and Jade Lewis combined to win the Womenís Doubles title.  Hourigan then combined with Rai to win the Open Combined Doubles 6-0 6-0.  Rai and local partner Luke de Villiers took out the Menís Doubles title defeating last yearís champions Mark Belcher and Hamish Mead 6-2 6-2.

Grant Morris (Okaiawa) had a tremendous tournament winning a New Zealand title for the B Menís Singles and then combining with Luis Silva (Rotokare) to take the B Menís doubles title.  Morris, achieved the singles title the hard way, winning his last three matches in third set super-tiebreakers, defeating Peter Lehrke (Auckland) 6-1 2-6 10-7 in the final.  Brad Dowdle (Okaiawa) picked up his New Zealand title when going through unbeaten in the Social Menís singles, winning 6-3 6-1 over Shane Lahina (Wanganui).

The Tier 3 Taranaki Open Junior events were mainly dominated by a tour group from Aucklandís Lavie Academy, but shining lights for Taranaki were Luke Barrett (Oakura) who won the 10 Boys Singles and the 12 Boys Doubles, Eva Dowdle (Manaia) winnings the 10 Girls Singles and Jorja Symes (Okaiawa) picking up the 18 Girls Singles title.

Left to right: Nishitha Maarka - winner of 14s and 16s Girls Singles and B Grade Ladies singles, Paige Hourigan and Jade Lewis - Open Ladies Doubles Champions, Paige Hourigan and Ajeet Rai - Open Combines Champions, Paige Hourigan - Open Ladies Singles Champion