Top city ten­nis ac­tion hits Ash­bur­ton

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR PLACE - ERIN TASKER

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.

ERIN TASKER/STUFF

Larissa Al­lan at full stretch to re­turn a shot in Ash­bur­ton on Satur­day.

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