Tennis: Team Wilson stay on top

By Shane Hurndell

Talk about responding to a pressure situation in emphatic fashion.

Leaders Hughes and Smyth Unichem Pharmacy Team Wilson did in Saturday's round of Hawke's Bay's premier men's tennis competition at Napier's Onekawa courts.

Captain Shane Wilson and his troops turned up knowing they had a two point lead over nearest rivals Jeff Gray Land Rover Team Giddy and Sainsbury Logan and Williams Team Curtis.

However, before the first ball of the day had been hit Wilson and co saw Team Curtis secure the maximum eight points and a six point lead courtesy of a default win against Tracta Team Kitching.

Team Kitching's captain andNo 1 Jason Kitching couldn't play after a work accident and a couple of his teammates were also unavailable.

Their default meant Wilson and co had to secure maximum points against bottom of the table Rowe Light Team Cooper to finish the day back on top.

Wilson's team won all six of their matches, dropping one set in the process, and will start this weekend's round with a two point lead over Team Curtis again.

Their only set dropped came in the No 1 doubles when Wilson and Hinton lost the first set to Reuben Cooper and Zac Atkins 7-6 before winning the next two 6-2, 7-5.

The fact Wilson's team has never dropped below the top two throughout the competition has been a tremendous feat considering one of their original selections, Henry Jacobs, has yet to play and another, Matt Gittings, has played two ties while New Zealand under-14 runner-up Finn Reynolds hasn't always been available.

Reynolds returned in the No2 singles role on Saturday and beat Napier Technical premier rugby player Tipene Cottrell 7-6, 6-4 in his singles before combining with "ring in" Wilton Atkins to beat Cottrell and Jacob Verhoeven 6-1, 6-3 in their doubles.

Saturday's other tie saw Shed 2 Team Donovan beat Jeff Gray Land Rover Team Giddy.

The anticipated clash between the Bay's No 1 Luke Donovan and South African Craig Giddy was a one-sided affair with Donovan winning 6-1, 6-3. However, Giddy gained revenge in the doubles when he and Guy Howett beat Donovan and Kim Cooper 7-5, 7-6.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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