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Formidable pair of champions

A formidable women’s pairing of two national champions and an even men’s field are the features of the popular Masterton Vets Tournament to be played over the weekend.

One hundred and seven players will take to the courts at the Trust House Masterton Tennis Centre for two days of doubles play, with the men’s and women’s competitions on Saturday and the mixed doubles on Sunday.

Masterton Tennis Centre club captain Sue McRae said that numbers have held up well but have been impacted slightly with the Wellington region deciding to continue with their interclub competitions.

“We’ve been running the tournament for 59 years, and they’ve normally left that week out,” McRae said.

“We can’t do much about it, and quite a few of the women, in particular in the Wellington region who would have played in the tournament, have written to express regret that they’re tied up with interclub, which is a shame. It’s affected things a little bit, but we’ve still got a strong field.”

The women’s field is headlined by the powerful combination of Tania Martin [Hutt Valley] and Jane Wylie [Hawke’s Bay], who both won their respective categories in the national age group championships this year, and McRae expects them to be untested.

However, it’s a different story in the men’s A1 tournament, where she said there is no clear favourite and any one of the eight pairs could win the title.

The Wellington father and son combination of Kevin and Ryan Wilson, who are playing in their first tournament together, previous winner Russell Broughton and Ron Garrick [Hawke’s Bay], Simon Osborne and Brian Woodman from the Hutt Valley, the Masterton pairing of Michael Jackson and Luke Atkinson, Chad Parson and Jack Lummis, Russell Thomas and Geoff Guppy from Avalon, and brothers Nathan and Ben Riwai-Couch are among those in what McRae described as a very even field.

“There are a lot of men with similar ability at the top level, and it looks like we’ll have two pools of A1 men, and they will play off to decide the winners. It could be quite interesting, we have eight equally strong pairings,” she said.

In Sunday’s mixed doubles, Martin has teamed up with Glan Japeth of Hutt Valley to form a strong pairing, while Broughton and Claire Docherty, and Leonie Campbell and Steve Chapman are other useful combinations.

All the players are guaranteed at least three games under the round-robin format of the tournament. Play gets underway at 8.30am and is expected to finish by about 5pm on both days.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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