Marco de Groot is likely to lead the way for Martinborough. PHOTO/FILE

TENNIS

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Martinborough will start favourites to win today’s Regional One interclub tennis final against Opaki, despite missing their number one man.

Chris Wilkie, who has been in dominant form in the championship dropping only one match, to Carterton’s Jono Hurley, is unavailable for the final because of a personal commitment.

That will probably see the experienced Marco de Groot step into the number one spot, where he is likely to meet Chris Davidson. The last time they met in interclub singles was in March 2018, when de Groot prevailed in three sets.

Matt Nicholson is likely to step into the number two position, where his probable opponent is Brett Dymond.

Their last encounter in interclub was over a year ago, when Nicholson easily won in two sets.

Martinborough have several options for the third and fourth men. Ed Wilkie, Mike Jones and Jaimie McMaster would all come into consideration to fill the positions.

Opaki’s best chance of victory may lie with the men’s doubles and the women.

Davidson and Dymond form a solid combination and with the absence of Chris Wilkie would pose a real threat to whatever number one partnership Martinborough put on court.

Duncan Oakley, Stu Wyeth and Jon McNab would be contenders to make up the second combination.

In the women, Opaki number one Gerry Brooking has been unbeaten this year. Potentially, she will play Rona Lovell, in what would shape as a closely-fought match.

Belinda Day will probably take the number two spot for Opaki and her likely opponent would be Carla Didsbury. The two met last week, with Didsbury coming out on top in a tight three-setter.

Lovell and Didsbury are then likely to meet Brooking and Day in what could be the decisive women’s doubles.

The previous clashes between the two clubs this year have resulted in a win apiece. Last weekend, Martinborough won 8-1, while Opaki prevailed 6-3 in February.

Unlike round-robin play, where super tie-breakers are used, matches will be decided over three sets.

In Regional Two, Opaki Red will go in as favourites against Masterton. Richie Day and Anthony Huxford are unbeaten in the championship.

They will play Peter Hampson and Quentin Kauika in what has the potential to be a cliffhanger. The last time they clashed, Opaki Red won 2-1, winning the two singles in three sets, but losing the doubles in straight sets.

Play in both finals will get under way at the Masterton Tennis Centre at 1pm today.