New faces given shot to shine in club doubles

By Jared Smith

A new batch of Wanganui Tennis Club exponents will have the chance to etch their names on the silverware when the senior club doubles start today.

World-ranked youngsters like Kyle Butters and Paige Hourigan are unavailable, while veteran Karen Cranston has left for Turkey to represent New Zealand at a Masters event.

Emma Hayman is competing overseas as well, having made the semifinals of a WTA US$10,000 ($12,025) tournament at the weekend in the city of Shymkent in Kazakhstan.

Hayman was beaten in straight sets by Kyrgyzstan's Ksenia Palkina in the playoff.

Back in Wanganui, club captain Lyn Dent said she had 15 men's and 10 women's teams for the doubles championships.

"We can't stop because the big ones aren't there.

"The others are the ones that keep your club going."

The men's draw especially was hard to choose the seedings for because it was such a broad competitive base across the remaining locals a tier down from the club's international players, Dent said.

"There's going to be good competition. Maybe not the stars, but the next guys, and it's great to see them get the chance to get the awards."

Last year's women's doubles champions were Cranston and Sandra Glennie.This year, Glennie teams with Kyle Butters' younger sibling Paris, who was very impressive in Wanganui's Christie Cup defence on February 17.

They draw the No 1 seeding while Rachel Cronin, who teamed with Lisa Haden to be runners-up last year, is also playing.

The 2012 men's doubles champions were Nick Caton and Glenn Brown neither is available this year with Caton currently in the UK. Runners-up Sam Butters and Michael O'Callahan are also not playing.

The opening round begins at 1pm today and concludes on Sunday. The club will also be collecting tin cans during the tournament for the Wanganui Food Bank.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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