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There were no major upsets on day one of play at the Maxim Financial Wellington Tennis Open with seeded players all given a bye through the first round.
Winners of note included Amrit Rai, the older brother of New Zealand’s top junior player, Ajeet Rai who plays his first match on Friday against Tim Heslin (Auckland). Amit Rai from Taranaki beat Patrick Joss (Kapiti Coast) 3-6 7-6(8) 6-4 in just over three hours to move through to the second round where he will face eighth seed Finlay Hall from the Khandallah tennis club.
Alex Hunt from Nelson who is aiming to gain a pro ranking this year won his match easily over Tom Bolton 6-2 6-0. Hunt has a prosthetic lower left arm from his elbow down. The 23-year-old Hunt who has already played club tennis in Europe and graduated from St Marys College in the United States faces Wellington’s Milo Benn in the second round of the tournament.
Another player through was Pat Metham was given a walkover in the first round and will now play Wellington tennis coach Michael Mcglinchey .
Seeds eight through five have their first matches on Friday while the top four seeds in both men’s and women’s draws join in play of Saturday for quarters and semis with the finals on Sunday all at the Renouf Centre.
Top seeds for the tournament include, Kiwi No.1 Rubin Statham as well as fellow Davis Cup player Marcus Daniell, internationally ranked Rhett Purcell and Olly Sadler and in the women’s draw top 250 world ranked Julia Glushko as well as Leela Beattie.