Masterton tennis ace Marcus Daniell returns to the New Zealand Davis Cup team for the first time in over two years for next month’s tie with Turkey.
Daniell last played for New Zealand in September 2021, teaming with his Tokyo Olympic bronze medal-winning partner Michael Venus in beating South Korea’s Jisung Nim and Minku Song in a World Group first-round tie.
Since then, Daniell, 34, has been battling a serious knee injury and only returned to the court in late 2023,
Venus is taking a break for the World Group first-round tie to be played at the ASB Tennis Centre, Auckland, on February 2–3, and Daniell is likely to play doubles with 23-year-old Finn Reynolds. The pair have tasted recent success, convincingly winning doubles tournaments in Wellington and Papamoa.
Last week, Daniell played in his first grand slam since the 2022 Australian Open, taking the court with Brazil’s Marcelo Demoliner in the men’s doubles.
The pair were beaten in a tense drama-filled first-round match – 7–6 ; 2–6; 6–7  – in two hours 33 minutes by the Australian wildcard pair of John Millman and Edward Winter in blustery conditions and after repeated rain delays.
Mason Lee and seasoned professional Gareth Paddison shared the honours at the Masterton Golf Club’s Pro-Am played on the Lansdowne course last Friday.
Paddison and Lee finished tied at six-under, both carding 66. They were one shot clear of a group of five players – Jerry Song, Brett Allen, Bailey Smith, James Tauariki, and Quinton Thompson. Masterton’s Harry Bateman was tied for eighth, two shots off the winners.
The 18-hole tournament replaced the two-day Masterton–Eketāhuna Pro-Am, which had run for the past 20 years.