Praise for tournament, facility

Serving it up . . . Charlie Byers, 18, prepares to serve in the women’s doubles A-grade final. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

The Trust Aoraki Tennis Centre was in full swing when it hosted the first Aoraki Open graded event on the resurfaced courts.

Taking place over the weekend of May 11, the open attracted 50 top players from South Canterbury and beyond to compete in A and B grade singles and doubles.

Tennis South Canterbury administrator Anna Telfer said she was pleased with the first graded outing since Covid.

‘‘Everything went great, the weather turned on for us, there were lots of good matches and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

‘‘A lot went into getting the event on.

‘‘We had to get a lot of sponsorship. The prize-money was through sponsorship, we also had to get a lot of food sponsorship because we did lunch and breakfast for the players as well.

‘‘Not many tournaments do that so it definitely went down a treat.’’

Although still pleased with the number of entries she said it would have been nice to have had a few more.

‘‘We probably didn’t get as many entries as we’d probably have liked but the quality of players that did enter was good.

‘‘There were quite a few from up north, a lot of Christchurch people and a lot of South Canterbury people supported it as well which was great.’’

The time of the year might have played a part

‘‘We’re approaching the end of the tennis season, so there’s maybe a lot of people winding down and not feeling like they want to play.

‘‘We’ll probably look at bringing it into March next year to try and attract more people but overall it worked out fine and it was a good number to manage the first time back.’’

Full house . . . The courts at the Trust Aoraki Tennis Centre had a good workout as the facility was host to the first graded open since Covid.

The men’s singles A grade competition was won by Canterbury player William Schneideman , fellow Cantabrian Ruby Young triumphed in the women’s singles A grade and alongside sister Lucy Young also won the women’s doubles A grade.

South Canterbury’s Kelly Van Heerden put on a strong showing, winning the women’s singles B grade and Irene Emond and Daniela Zavallone, from South Canterbury, won the women’s doubles B grade.

Miss Telfer said the players were full of praise for the tournament and the facility.

‘‘We had a lot of compliments from the travelling players.

‘‘We’ve also been approached by Tennis New Zealand to host a pro tournament at the end of the year or next year so it’s great to be recognised and praised for the high standard of facility we have here.’’

Only one tournament remains this tennis season before the winter break.

A junior quad series is set to be held on King’s Birthday Weekend and then tournaments will resume in September.

Coaching and lessons will continue to run through the winter break.