Tennis: All eyes on top form Brown in finals

By Peter White

The battle to decide bragging rights in men's tennis in the Western Bay for the next 12 months takes place from 3.00pm tomorrow at the Mount Maunganui courts.

Last year's champions, Mount Maunganui, and Otumoetai have made it through to the Men's Premier final after coming through contrasting semifinals last Saturday.

Mount Maunganui made no race of Tauranga Lawn winning all four singles and two doubles matches for a 6-0 clean sweep.

Number one Nick Brown had a tough challenge in the first set before showing some impressive form in the second to beat Richard Kidd 7-5, 6-2, and Jason Helms, Steve McCashin and Rosstan Mazey all won their singles.

Tauranga Lawn put up plenty of fight in the doubles with most games going to deuce, before the Mount boys prevailed.

Otumoetai and Gate Pa had a highly-competitive afternoon's tennis, with Peter O'Dea and Mike Callard winning singles matches for Gate Pa.

But both doubles matches went to Otumoetai which proved to be the winning of the semifinal.

Much attention tomorrow will centre on 18-year-old Brown, who has just finished his final exam at Tauranga Boys' College.

He not only leads the Mount Maunganui team in the final but has been in sparkling form playing for Herne Bay in the highly competitive Caro Bowl competition in Auckland.

Brown is the number one ranked player in the Bay of Plenty and is at number three at New Zealand junior level.

He says tennis is his life right now and he has high hopes he can take his game to a higher plane one day as a professional.

"The Hamilton ITF has been a highlight. It is a junior world tournament and I got to the final," said Brown.

"In December, I have some pretty important tournaments and I have the Under-18 nationals plus the West End Cup coming up. If I do well in that I will get looked at differently.

"I had planned to go to college in America next year but I might do that the year after. Next year I'd like to go to Europe and play some matches on clay and play better players.

"But I need some sponsorship to be able to do that."

Mount Maunganui club captain Paul Ruka is confident his team can win their second straight title.

"We have been a dominant force this year. With each team we have played, we have hardly even dropped a match and it has been a convincing performance all season.

"Otumoetai is going to be tough though.

"They have Jason Young back and they will be much stronger with him, but compared to every other team we have far more depth.

"From number one to six our players are very convincing."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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