King-turner takes best shot at title
Budding tennis players could find themselves going head to head with the professionals as West End Tennis Club serves up its annual tournament.
The newly named Wither Hills West End Cup is celebrating its fifth year and New Zealand No 2 Dan KingTurner is back on court looking to net first prize.
King-Turner is among other well-known players, including Davis Cup winner and New Zealand No 1 Rubin Statham and New Zealand No 4 Artem Sitak, competing from December 6 to 9.
This year’s cup will feature a new tie-breaker tournament called the Super Ten, open to anyone who wants to try their hand at the game and compete for more than $1500 of prizes.
West End Cup organiser Penny Foote says the tourna- ment at the Westmere club is as popular as ever.
‘‘It just gets bigger and bigger each year and anything can happen so we might see one of the locals battling it out against a pro.’’
King-Turner has just returned from six weeks of international competitions and says he is looking forward to competing on home ground.
‘‘It’s always nice to play in New Zealand. There are definitely some quality players who compete for the cup each year and this year it looks like there’s going to be even stronger competition.’’
With a current world ranking of 374, King-Turner has his sights set on breaking into the top 200 in the next year.
The 28-year-old was forced to lay down his racket last year after an ankle injury left him unable to compete.
But he is 100 per cent back on form and has some advice for any up-and-coming players looking to challenge the professionals.
‘‘Don’t let them put you off your game. When people play against better players they think they have to play better than they actually need to.
‘‘When I play guys who are ranked top 100 in the world I guess I’m guilty of doing the same as well. It’s hard to control but at the same time you need to.’’
The four-day event has grown to be the largest independent money tournament in New Zealand and now features a junior competition.
On December 8, the Lindauer Jazz evening will kick off during the finals of the Super Ten tournament.
Entry is free and childcare is available for younger children.
Aiming high: New Zealand No 2 tennis player Dan King-Turner is ready to serve up his A-game against other top-ranked players at the 2012 Wither Hills West End Cup.