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Wairarapa struggles on return to court



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Wairarapa struggled in their return to senior representative tennis, finishing sixth of six teams at the Tennis Central Hexangular Tournament held at the Renouf Centre in Wellington over the weekend.

Team captain Scott Day reckoned it’s about eight years since Wairarapa last had a senior representative tennis team on court.

“We wanted to get senior rep tennis up and running again,” he said.

“Everyone enjoyed it and everyone enjoyed playing the higher level of tennis”

The tournament involved teams of four men and four women. Each fixture consisted of eight singles, a men’s and women’s doubles and two mixed doubles.

The Wairarapa team contained interclub players, and other Wairarapa players, who play in the Wellington Interclub competitions.

Juniors Patrick Wall and Henry Isaacs, who play in Wellington, were joined by Scott Day and Kelby Courtney, both from Gladstone, in the men. Gladstone’s Mitchell Blackwood replaced Wall on Sunday.

The women’s lineup featured Chichi Beck, Ajah Lolo, and Holly Hilton, who play in Wellington, and Brigette Mossman, who is better known as a member of the premier Dalefield women’s hockey team.

Sophie Fitzgerald, Gladstone, and Ruby Kyle, St Matthew’s Collegiate, came into the women’s lineup on Sunday.

Wairarapa started the tournament with an 1-11 loss to Wellington.

Wall scored the team’s only win, defeating Josh Smith 6-4 1-6 10-6 in a super tiebreaker

Lolo and Beck also forced a super tiebreaker against Tessa Low and Tenzin Joe in the women’s doubles, losing 4-6 6-2 2-10.

Isaacs and Beck both lost their singles matches in two close sets — 5-7 6-7.

In their second pool match, Wairarapa were thrashed 0-12 by Hutt Valley.

Day was the only player to really test his opponent, taking the first set off Alex Randall, before losing 6-1 4-6 0-10.

Wairarapa came up against Taranaki in the fifth-sixth play-off and were again outclassed,

Day, who beat Brady Simpson 6-1 6-2, and Beck, who overcame Chantelle Peters 6-1 6-2 were the only winners in the 2-10 loss.

Kapi-Mana won the tournament with a narrow 7-5 victory over Hutt Valley.

Despite the struggles on the court, Day said “the players are keen to continue”.

“It was a very strong tournament; there were players like George Stoop, who played in the nationals, and our players really enjoyed playing those sort of players” he said.

“Hopefully, we can join the Central Region competition, and play against the likes of Taranaki and Whanganui for the Christie Cup.”

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