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Masterton and Martinborough square off

Marco de Groot gives Martinborough a strong hand at number two. PHOTOS/FILE

TENNIS

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

The doubles could prove to be the decider in tonight’s Wairarapa Tennis men’s regional one interclub final for the Shirley Corlett Trophy at the Trust House Masterton Tennis Centre.

Masterton go in as unbeaten top qualifiers, while Martinborough One have lost only one fixture – to Masterton.

Masterton’s Boon Huxtable is unbeaten in interclub this season.

Masterton’s dominance has been built around their number one Boon Huxtable. The former top-ranked Auckland junior is unbeaten in singles and doubles throughout the championship, winning all his matches in a canter, without dropping a set.

Huxtable’s opponent at the top of the order is likely to be the experienced Chris Wilkie, who he has beaten comfortably in their most recent clashes.

However, if Wilkie can reproduce the effort when he pushed Huxtable to a super tiebreaker in a fiery match in February, an upset could be on the cards.

Veteran Chad Parson will fill the number two singles role for Masterton, and although he has a very good four-win two-loss record in this season’s championship, one of those losses came against tonight’s probable opponent Marco de Groot.

Assuming the singles are shared, that would have the championship decided in the doubles, where Huxtable has formed a useful doubles combination with Rhys Hooper.

The pair are unbeaten and have not dropped a set, however, they were pushed hard by Wilkie and de Groot, before prevailing 6-3 6-4 in their previous match.

The experienced Martinborough pair could have Hooper as a potential weak link, and target him in a effort to nullify Huxtable’s influence.

To add more confusion, Parson could come into consideration for a double’s role with Huxtable, while Martinborough could call on Steve Chapman, who has combined successfully with Wilkie in the past.

In other play-offs, Opaki will play Gladstone, and Martinborough Two will host Kuranui College.

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