Top city tennis action hits Ashburton
Christchurch’s top tennis players battled both the scorching heat and each other in Ashburton on Saturday.
The city’s premier tennis grade hit the road and played their latest round at the Ashburton Trust Tennis Centre for the first time, but it was such a success it’s hoped it won’t be the last time.
Mid Canterbury Tennis coach Andre van Rooyen said the feedback from both the players and Canterbury Tennis officials was great. New Canterbury Tennis CEO Adam Gard’ner emailed him to thank Mid Canterbury Tennis for the support both they and the community had thrown behind the day.
A steady stream of people walked through the gates to watch the top tennis action, and they weren’t disappointed. Both the men’s and women’s premier grades were played, and it was a day of close matches, particularly in the women’s grade.
Hagley Park – featuring Ashburton’s Ashleigh Leonard and Larissa Allan – took on a Cashmere side also featuring an Ashburton player, top junior Tessa McCann. Hagley won on a countback of games after the match was tied 3-all. McCann and Leonard played each other in singles where McCann won in three sets.
The other women’s match between Waimairi and Elmwood also went to a count-back, with Waimairi winning 7-6 on sets.
The men’s competition was set to feature an Ashburton player too, in Flynn Ness, and while his Burwood Park side had to default due to a shortage of players, some of them still made the trip down and made it to the court. Former Ashburton tennis coach Remi Feneon was one of them, playing an exhibition match against New Zealand number six James Meredith.
In the other men’s matches, Cashmere beat Elmwood while Edgeware won their first tie of the season, beating Bishopdale 4-2, to round out a top day of tennis.
‘‘I think it’s good for the young players to see. A lot of our kids came down and I’m hoping we can make it an annual event,’’ van Rooyen said.
Mid Canterbury’s open grade competition was moved to earlier in the day to make way for the visitors, and Hampstead kicked off round two the way they finished round one. After beating Methven to claim round one honours a week prior, Hampstead beat Southern 5-1, while Allenton beat Fairton 4-2, and Methven beat Tinwald 4-2.
Larissa Allan at full stretch to return a shot in Ashburton on Saturday.