Wanganui tennis on a high

By Jared Smith


It's official: Wanganui tennis can get out the chisel and carve their name with pride.

A stacked Wanganui team dominated their Christie Cup defence against Manawatu yesterday at the Bassett St courts.

Having won the morning singles matches in hot conditions by 9-3, including all six men's games, Wanganui also took out the double's section 4-2, creating an unassailable 13-5 lead heading into the mixed doubles in the late afternoon.

As well as retaining the Christie Cup they snared in November for the first time in 50 years, Wanganui also got their hands on the other prized Central Districts tennis association's trophy the Adidas Cup although their guests had not actually brought it with them.

More importantly, Wanganui's historical feat can now be officially recorded as, although the Christie Cup can theoretically change hands multiple times in a season, only the association that holds it at the finish gets its name placed on it for that year.

With world-ranked juniors like Kyle Butters and Paige Hourigan on deck, alongside the likes of current coach and former Mexican No1 Victor Romero, Wanganui had a team which, in the words of Wilton Atkins, would be a challenge for any association in New Zealand's main centres.

"We're pretty happy to be making history today and we did it convincingly," said the development officer.

"We don't know how long we'll keep this group together with Paige and Kyle looking overseas.

"But it's great having guys like Simon O'Leary and Charlotte Gollan coming back from Wellington."

While the stars were unbeaten, another key win during the singles was Paris Butters' comeback against Manawatu's Megan Small.

Losing the first set and being 5-2 down in the second, Butters rallied to win the tie break and then take the third set.

The next big tennis for Bassett St will be a planned benefit match for Hourigan on March 26.

Wanganui tennis is looking to sign a marquee player to take on the teenager.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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