The lower seeded players became the hunted opponents as they fell rapidly in the second round of men’s singles at the Pascoes NZ Tennis Championships at North Harbour as the prize of an ASB Classic wildcard upped the ante for players in the early stages of the tournament.
Gone from the singles on the second day of the event are the men’s fifth, seventh and eighth seeds as James Meredith from Canterbury along with fellow Cantab, Remi Feneon as well as seventh seed GD Jones were beaten.
For Feneon and Jones the losses were to players who were probably the next in line for seedings in the form of Daniel Brown who has played some pro tennis on Futures circuits in Asia and Rhett Purcell who is in a similar position, but has decided to throw his loyalty behind the British flag from now on.
Brown beat Feneon 4-6 7-6 6-3 in blustery conditions while Purcell defeated Jones 7-5 7-6(2) with some hard-hitting the main feature of the match.
Fifth seeded Meredith’s loss came at the hands of 15-year-old Finn Reynolds from the Hawkes Bay who showed plenty of determination to hang remain in the points against the onslaught of big-serving.
Left-handed Reynolds is targeted alongside Macsen Sisam as two of the best juniors in the country at present and both showed their potential, although Sisam was a little impatient with some of his points in his three set loss to sixth seed Connor Heap (Canterbury).
Reynolds now takes on fourth seed Artem Sitak in the quarter-finals who was forced to battle for a while in his win over Wellington’s Olly Sadler.
Top seed Finn Tearney was efficient in his win over Rob Reynolds and will now play Heap in his quarter-final, while Rubin Statham also played a solid game in his win over Riki McLachlan and will take on Purcell in his last eight clash. Defending champion Michael Venus was typical power in his match as he defeated Auckland Alex Low for a match up against Brown.
In the women’s singles the top four seeds all made the quarters with a couple of matches of interest now lined up as Tauranga’s Ashleigh Harvey the fourth seed plays the powerful Jo Carswell while two highly regarded young teens in Rosie Cheng and Nina Paripovich clash in a future prospects match. Top seeds Sacha Jones and Leela Beattie are the odds on favourites for their respective clashes against Caitlin Ward and Lauren Alter.
Women’s quarter-final singles matches are set for a 10am start with men to follow from 11.30am at North Harbour.
Men’s singles and doubles winners gain valuable ATP ranking points and prizemoney from wildcards into January’s ASB Classic, while the women’s doubles winners gain a main draw wildcard into the ASB Classic women’s tournament. The women’s singles winner is awarded an ASB Classic qualifying wildcard.
The Pascoes The Jewellers NZ Tennis Championship is being held 7-12 December at the Albany Tennis Park, North Harbour with the semis and finals (Friday 11 from 2pm and Saturday 12 from 4pm) held at the ASB Tennis Arena in Auckland.