Butters serves up rivals on toast

By Jared Smith

Wanganui tennis standout Kyle Butters has added another national title to his resume after the 15-year-old wrapped up the national Under 16 trophy at Ashburton Trusts Tennis Centre on Saturday.

The No 1 seed going into the tournament, Butters won the final against the third seed, North Harbour's Alex Klintcharov 7-6 (5) 6-2.

Ironically, the two teenagers had combined forces to win the national Under 18 doubles title together back in December in Albany.

Butters had been beaten in the Under 18 singles final by Canterbury's Connor Heap, who was No 2 seed in Ashburton but retired from his semifinal with Klintcharov when he was down 7-5 4-2.

Butters had a tough semifinal match-up with another rival fourth seeded Aucklander Rhett Purcell recovering from dropping the first set to win 4-6 6-3 6-1. He now has three ITF tournaments to follow as his summer continues.

Meanwhile, his cousin and fellow national champion, Paige Hourigan, has been in Melbourne and had a good enough ranking to reach the qualifying draw as ninth seed of the Australian Open Juniors.

She proceeded to beat Australian Angelique Svinos in a thrilling match-up 7-5 3-6 7-5, before dismissing another Aussie in Samantha Harris 6-3 6-3 to make the main draw.

Hourigan will be in action today in the first round of the main draw.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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