Tennis: Four stay in contention

By Shane Hurndell

Hawke's Bay premier men's tennis competition organiser Trevor Hinton was a happy man on Saturday night.

Four teams remain in contention for title honours in the competition, which ends on March 16, and Hinton played a dominant role as his Hughes and Smyth Unichem Pharmacy Team Wilson emerged with a two-point lead after Saturday's round at Napier's Onekawa courts.

"I couldn't be happier ... the competition is producing the close encounters it was designed to and to have four teams in contention is awesome," Hinton said.

With matches drawn three-all after his team's top-of-the-table clash with Sainsbury Logan and Williams Team Curtis, a countback of sets saw the two sides tied at seven-all and the countback of games saw Team Wilson come out on top 59-53.

"I was lucky my No 2 singles opponent Andy Baker cramped up and retired hurt, which gave me a 6-1, 6-0 win and while he recovered for the No 1 doubles match with Max [Brewster], Shane [Wilson] and I managed a 6-2, 6-0 win and at the end of the tie those six games proved the difference between the two teams," Hinton said.

Hinton's son Jordan was involved in the longest doubles match of the day. Jordan and Craig Giddy took 2h 20m to beat Reuben Cooper and Zac Atkins 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 during Jeff Gray Land Rover Team Giddy's 4-2 win against Rowe Light Team Cooper. Jordan earlier beat Team Cooper's No 2 Tipene Cottrell 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a singles battle.

Fifth-placed Tracta Team Kitching upset fourth-placed Shed 2 Team Donovan 4-2. Team Donovan again played without captain Luke Donovan.

Team Wilson missed under-14 player Finn Reynolds and Team Kitching missed Reynolds' older brother Robbie. With the players expected back this weekend, organiser Hinton is predicting more close encounters.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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