Caro Bowl Tennis returns with even more proffessional players taking up the challenge
Top tennis returns to Auckland this Friday night with the opening round of Scarbro Caro Bowl which features the best teams in tennis clashing for supremacy with the best players from around the country and a large amount of overseas influence too.
Close to 30 of the listed players in the eight-men’s team, seven women’s side competition have had ATP or WTA international world rankings.
The biggest change from the previous season is in the men’s competition where defending Caro Bowl champions West End decided to not put in a team, citing financial burdens, mainly as a result of the high player appearance fees. The surprise left teams scrambling to pick up West Ends players and at a late notice nearby Herne Bay putting in a team, which is looking a little weak, but at least prevents a bye.
Parnell will be the favourites with a first round clash against Pompallier at Pompallier. Parnell have listed a virtual all international lineup. Although it’s certain Rubin Statham will not play the first match as he is representing New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games. Kiwi No1 Dan King-Turner is ranked around 230 in the world and is unlikely to play, which means the bulk of matches will feature former top 200 ranked Alistair Hunt, the talented Anton Bettink and another ex international, Steve Downs. Pompallier are headed by Teo Susnjak and the fast rising player, Adam Lee with Argentine Gustavo Perziano also listed.
Remuera have a solid side featuring American coach Paul Koenke. What he lacks in size may be helped by his like of the astro grass court surface on the clubs home courts against Royal Oak who will be missing former Chinese Davis Cup player, Wei Wei after recently breaking his leg. Also in the Remuera team is former Davis Cup player James Shortall as well as Martin Colenbrander. Royal Oak have the talented junior Jaden Grinter in their side.
In other men’s matches the strong Campbell Park side host Herne Bay and Blockhouse Bay are at home against another new side in Cockle Bay.
Campbell Park have former Argentine pro’s Gustavo Gomez and Mariano Pettigrosso who were popular last year. They are joined by former Kiwi Davis Cup players, Adam Thompson and Robbie Cheyne to form a potentially winning side.
Blockhouse Bay could also be contenders if they can front with a full strength side. They have Russian-Kiwi Artem Sitak who is world ranked in the 300’s followed by Kiwi No2 Michael Venus and another Kiwi pro Marcus Daniell who won the Heineken Open doubles earlier this year. Jackson Bodle looks likely to be another vital member of the team.
Cockle Bay have club coach, Andrew Batie leading their side. The former pro is likely to bring in some of his ex-Canterbury friends to help his side stay competitive.
The pick of the women’s first round clashes should be between defending champs, Parnell and Kohimarama. Parnell will again be the title favourites with Kiwi professional and former national title holder Di Hollands should be available for most of the season. German Franziska Etzel was a top find for the side last season and has been ranked inside the top-400 in 2005. She won ITF Futures singles and doubles titles.
Forrmer top 100 player Pavlina Nola adds depth to the side as does former Kiwi No1 Rewa Harriman while Otago teenager Libby Scott will benefit from the experience around her. Former international Amanda Trail will be used for doubles.
Once again Scarbro Kohimarama will be a contender for a finals place, but they will need to have all of their players available and stay away from injuries. Kairangi Vano has had a WTA ranking and is still probably the hardest female hitter in the country. Briar Preston is 16 and ranked inside the world’s top-100 juniors, however she may be overseas during the season. Tracey O’Connor is a former professional and Luci Barlow gives the team plenty of depth with Heidi Stewart a much improved junior from the Waikato.
Remuera have the bye for the first round.
The competition runs from 6pm Friday 8 October until the finals to be held Friday 10 December.
Scarbro Caro Bowl
Friday 8 October
All matches start at 6pm (home side listed first).
Men’s round 1
Dunlop ROYAL OAK v DFK Oswin Griffiths REMUERA,
DBB Merchant Bankers CAMPBELL PARK v Pascoes HERNE BAY,
ZAP BLOCKHOUSE BAY V Turkish Kitchen COCKLE BAY,
Champagne Bollinger POMPALLIER V Head Parnell
Women’s round 1
mymediaMISSION BAY v Champagne Bollinger POMPALLIER,
Glendowie v South Auckland Motors ROYAL OAK,
Zurich PARNELL V Scarbro KOHIMARAMA,