Tennis: Brown may prove best of all

By Peter White


Tauranga Boys' College has produced some fine tennis players over the years but Year 14 student Nick Brown might be the best of the lot.

The 18-year-old has set a record in interschool tennis that will take some beating.

In the last two years in the powerful Super 8 competition, featuring the best boys' sporting schools in the central North Island, and in traditional fixtures against Auckland powerhouses, Brown has won all 20 singles matches playing as the school's No1 player.

Teacher in charge of tennis at Tauranga Boys' College, Wayne Merritt, has watched his progress with pride since he arrived in Year 9.

"Nick was head and shoulders above the rest of the boys at that age and slotted straight into the senior team at No5 at Year 9," said Merritt.

"By Year 10 he was a regular in the senior team and has just gone from strength to strength really.

"The best we have had prior to Nick would have been Austin Childs, who went on to play Davis Cup for New Zealand and Austin did not have that record. They were very similar players actually, but I have not heard of a boy from any school that has done that over two years.

"He has huge determination and commitment to the sport and the focus on the court and ability to switch on is quite outstanding. On the court he has outstanding composure."

Brown recently defeated former Davis Cup player Wayne Thompson for the first time in what he calls "the biggest scalp I have landed so far".

"I played him in the final of the Chelsea Cup, which is the largest interclub event in New Zealand and all the best players get to play in that," said Brown.

"I had lost to him pretty convincingly twice over the season so he had confidence against me. I thought I didn't really want to lose to him again so I came out firing and did really well to win in three sets."

Knocking over top Auckland schoolboys has given Brown the most satisfaction.

"To win 20 straight is a pretty big effort. The one that sticks out for me for sure was St Kent's. They have a really strong team and the match I won against William Matheson is probably the toughest. He is in the junior Davis Cup team so I was real happy to pull off that win against him.

"The future for me is going to college in America ... a school I can start at and keep building to a transfer to a better school later."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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