The Tennis New Zealand 2016 annual awards were held recently at the ASB building at North Wharf, Auckland with many worthy winners as well as attendees spanning the full spectrum of the sport. The full list of winners is below.
It is hoped the event will be held around the middle weekend of the ASB Classic womens and mens tournaments each year creating an opportunity for Kiwi players from both tournaments to attend. On this occasion Michael Venus, Marcus Daniell, Rubin Statham and Ajeet Rai were in attendance along with a number of former New Zealand players as well as life members.
The award winners were:
Wheelchair Players of the Year:
Dave Sherriff (Auckland) and Glen Barnes (Christchurch);
Year highlight - the doubles team won a silver medal at the Invictus Games in 2016 in Miami
2016 Seniors Player of the Year:
Tup Cox - Tauranga
Year highlight - continued winning more senior titles and in 2016 reached a total of 50 national titles.
National Junior Teams Event Champions:
This award is for the region which accumulates the most points in the New Zealand 12U, 14U and 16U team events
Winner - Auckland
Tennis Official of the Year:
Christine McKnight - Auckland
Year highlight - Christine officiated at the Paralympics as well as the Australian Open and now has a white badge in officiating.
Performance Coach of the Year:
Marc Paulik - Wellington
Year highlight - gained considerably improved results through a wide variety of young players from the Central area
Club Coach of the Year:
Campbell Cramer-Roberts - Glendowie Tennis Club - Auckland
Year highlight - has earned a reputation as a hard working club coach encouraging all of his clubs members and bringing out the best in players of all abilities
Volunteer of the Year:
Dianne France - Redcliffs Tennis Club
Diane has lead the way in rebuilding the club which was destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and is inspirational in the community with countless hours put towards the club and its members
Club of the Year:
Orakei Tennis Club - Auckland
Over the past couple of years the club has successfully reinvigorated itself into a now thriving social and competitive environment
Junior Male Player of the Year:
Ajeet Rai - Taranaki
Year highlights - Ajeet won the prestigious National 18s title as well as winning two ITF Junior events in consecutive weeks earlier in the year
Junior Female Player of the Year:
Jade Lewis - Auckland
Year Highlights - Jade improved her standing in the tennis world from a junior player in Junior Grand Slams to being competitive in professional ITF and WTA tournaments.
Male Player of the Year:
Rubin Statham - Auckland
Year highlights - Rubin finished 2016 as the top ranked New Zealand singles player and won two tournaments to gain a wildcard into the US Open qualifying.
Female Player of the Year:
Marina Erakovic - Auckland
Year highlights - Marina was the top ranked New Zealand female player finishing the year at 105 in the world. She was a finalist in one WTA event (Rabat) and won through qualifying at Wimbledon before making the third round including beating former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic along the way.
Special Award for International Achievement:
Year highlights - Michael won four ATP titles in 2016 and was a finalist in five other ATP tournaments. He also reached a career high ranking of 32 in what was the best year of any New Zealand professional in doubles for nearly 20 years.