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An all-star entry list for the 2017 Maxim Financial Wellington Tennis Open looks set to make the tournament the best in years.
The March 30 – April 2 tournament has just confirmed Marcus Daniell the world No.43 doubles player and a New Zealand Davis Cup representative. Daniell has three ATP doubles titles to his credit and reached the third round of the Australian Open early this year. Over the weekend he made the final at the Brazil Open in Sau Paulo.
For Daniell playing in Wellington is something special as he rarely gets the chance to make it to the region where he grew up playing as a youngster. The Wellington Open also fits into his schedule with the Davis Cup tie against Korea a week later in Auckland.
“I’m really looking forward to playing the Wellington Open. I spent a lot of time at the Renouf Centre as a junior and it holds some special memories for me. I hope the tournament gets the public attention it deserves and drums up a heap of enthusiasm for tennis in a the area,” said Daniell.
Aside from Daniell the tournament features New Zealand’s top two singles players, Rubin Statham ranked 392 in the world and Finn Tearney who is currently ranked 414th. In 2016 they faced each other in the final with Statham coming away the winner in a tight contest.
Adding to the stellar line up are ATP ranked players Sam Matheson from North Harbour and Auckland-based Brit Rhett Purcell.
Top domestic players include Riki Mclachlan who has been an internationally ranked doubles player along with Sebastian Lavie who is now a coach but was a Davis Cup representative for New Zealand. Jaden Grinter who represents Miramar in Wellington Premier tennis is another entry.
There’s also New Zealand junior No.1 Ajeet Rai from Taranaki who is inside the top 80 juniors in the world and a rising star of the sport.
The women’s draw will be highlighted by world No.249 Julia Glushko who is coached by Lavie and has career highlights of making the third round of the French Open in 2015, several quarter-final appearances at WTA event and having a career-high ranking of 79 in 2014.
Glushko’s main rival for the title will be Leela Beattie, a former winner of the tournament and a finalist last year.
More names are expected to be confirmed for the tournament in the next couple of weeks.
In 2016 a big crowd turned out for the finals which were held indoors at the Renouf Centre and featured quality tennis as well as a number of prizes for spectators.