Wellington Tennis Open Looks Strong

Friday 1 December 2017, 10:39AM
By dave worsley


An impressive list of players have been confirmed for the Maxim Financial Wellington Tennis Open at the Renouf Tennis Centre this month with arguably the best players in the Capital for a number of years.  In fact the Wellington Open could easily be called stronger than the NZ National Champs a week earlier in Auckland.

Not only are two of New Zealand’s best professional doubles players appearing on court, along with other internationals, but there’s plenty of local talent returning from overseas with more players set to be confirmed for the December 19-22 event.

Wairarapa’s Marcus Daniell who was a singles finalist in Wellington earlier in the year will play doubles with Taranaki’s Ajeet Rai. Daniell is at a career-high ATP doubles ranking of 37 in the world and was a finalist at three ATP tournaments this year as well as making the third round of doubles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Fellow Davis Cup player, Artem Sitak will play in the singles draw and is currently ranked 55 in the world in doubles. He was a finalist in two ATP events in 2017 and reached the third round of Wimbledon doubles.

Wellington’s top player and New Zealand No.2 Finn Tearney will be men’s top seed with a ranking of 561. Tearney reached a final at an ITF Futures in Thailand this year and has beaten a number of top 200 ranked players in his career.

Tearney a two-time Wellington Open winner and just this week he beat Finn Reynolds in the final of the Auckland championships.

Rhett Purcell from Auckland and Wellington’s Olly Sadler (a former champ) will also be seeded in the singles as they have ATP rankings from playing pro tournaments around the world.

The strength of Tennis Central is also showing through the entry of two former Wellingtonians, Zach Whaanga and Kiranpai Pannu are both excelling in the United States College system at Columbus State University. Pannu recently won a couple of College titles and Whaanga made the semis at the NZ Tennis Champs last year.

The women’s draw features last year’s champion, Julia Glushko from Israel who is currently ranked 288 and has been a top 80 ranked player in the past. British player Suzy Larkin who has been based in Auckland recently and won the Auckland champs will be second seed. She has a current ranking of 676 and played most of the year in Challenger tournaments around Asia and Australia.

Third seed is likely to be Jo Carswell from Auckland has a WTA ranking of 901 represented New Zealand in Fed Cup in 2017 as did 20-year-old Paige Hourigan who hails from Wanganui and has a WTA ranking after playing a number of ITF tournaments in the United States.

Aside from the big four internationally ranked woman there are a large number of Tennis Central juniors and other top ranked players from around the country.

The finals for the Maxim Financial Wellington Tennis Open will be held on Friday 22 December indoors at the Renouf Tennis Centre from 11.30am.