The Rotorua-Lynmore men's and Rotorua women's tennis teams are off to a dream start in the Bay of Plenty regional premier senior interclub tennis competition.
Both the men's and women's teams are the defending champions, having won the Waikato Bay of Plenty titles last year. The men are looking to make it four titles in a row and have won their first two games in the 2017 competition, which had no entries from Waikato this time.
On Saturday, having beaten Tauranga Lawn 6-0 in round one, the Rotorua-Lynmore men played away against Mount Maunganui in what captain and first seed Shaun Tamai described as "the closest game we've had in a very long time".
With the score locked at 3-all after all six matches had been played, the overall win was decided by countback, in which Rotorua-Lynmore edged their opposition 62 games to 56.
The Rotorua team have another strong squad this year - Tamai was joined on Saturday by Jesse Galvin-Dawson (2), Sean Martin (3) and Greg Burt (4) and Logan Nathan. Burt played in the doubles and Nathan played singles.
Tamai and Martin won their doubles match 7-5, 6-3 against two young players who have just returned from five-year tennis scholarships in the United States, Jamie Yates and Jacob Darling.
Galvin-Dawson and Burt came up against the familiar face of James Wilce in their doubles match, who played for Rotorua last year but has moved to Tauranga. He teamed up with Andre Stewart for Mount Maunganui and they won 7-5, 6-4.
In the singles Tamai lost 7-5, 6-1 to Yates and Galvin-Dawson lost 7-6, 6-4 to Wilce. Those results meant Rotorua's third and fourth seeds had to step up if there team were any chance of winning. And step up they did.
Martin beat Darling 6-1, 6-4 and Nathan beat Stewart 6-0, 6-4. Winning by the margin they did was crucial in Rotorua-Lynmore winning the countback.
Tamai said it was good to be challenged.
"This is the competition we want, it's great for all our players and Bay of Plenty tennis as a whole. You want to play against the best every week.
"We were stoked with the win, because they also had a good win last week," he said.
Meanwhile, the Rotorua-Lynmore women's team had their first game of the season against Tauranga Lawn on Saturday and came away with a 5-1 win.
The team comprised Mia Middleton (1), Mia Wardlaw (2), Aliya Edwards (3) and captain Leona Davis-Kay (4).
Middleton and Wardlaw went up against Tauranga Lawn's Julia Newman and Toscana Bernie, and came away with a 6-2, 6-3 win.
In the other doubles match Edwards and Davis-Kay won in a tie-breaker against Lou Reid and Sussa Bailey.
In the singles Middleton lost 7-6 (9-7), 6-2, Wardlaw won 6-4, 6-3, Edwards won 6-4, 6-1 and Davis-Kay won 7-5, 6-0.
Davis-Kay said it was a great start to the season.
"Mia Middleton is a new player to our team from Auckland, she's our coach's partner, and she's a really great asset playing at number one.
"Mia Wardlaw is a good up-and-coming player, she was number one last year, that shows how strong the team is this season.
"It was our first game and everyone hasn't really been playing so it was a good win to secure. It's just a shame there aren't many teams this year, there's only three teams. We definitely want to defend our title, but the main thing is to enjoy it, enjoy playing tennis, winning is a bonus," Davis-Kay said.