Wanganui firm for cup defence

By staff reporter


Wanganui will take the court with just about its strongest possible line-up to defend the Christie Cup against Manawatu tomorrow.

After taking the cup off Taranaki in November for the first time since 1963, Wanganui know they have to win this final challenge of the season to retain it.

Tennis Wanganui development officer Wilton Atkins was pleased to have most international calibre players available at home for the challenge.

Former Mexican No 1 and Davis Cup captain Victor Romero, head coach of the Wanganui Tennis Club who has also won numerous professional titles, will lead the team.

National women's team member and junior champion Paige Hourigan is back, as is 16-year-old Kyle Butters - now amongst the top 10 players in the world for his age and fresh from winning two juniors ITF titles.

Karen Cranston is a member of the New Zealand Women's team in the 50-55 age group.

Wanganui's other international star, Emma Hayman, a member of the New Zealand women's Federation Cup team, is not available because of tennis commitments in Kazakstan.

The format is six men's singles, six women's singles, three men's doubles, three women's doubles and six mixed doubles a total of 24 matches.

A 12-12 draw would be enough for Wanganui to retain the Cup.

The full Wanganui team: Victor Romero, Paige Hourigan, Kyle Butters, Karen Cranston, Simon O'leary, Charlotte Gollan, Wilton Atkins, Dana Hiri, Michael O'Callaghan, Paris Butters, Tim McKenzie, Gabrielle Hiri, Sam Butters, Harriet McKenzie, Paula Fore.

The Manawatu team will be lead by: Kurt McNamara, Natalie Dean, Cam Wenham, Shani Te Mata Frost.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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