Some were curious to see what the tennis version of Twenty20 cricket would look like.

Others were just glad to watch an afternoon of top class tennis without the rain ruining it all.

The large crowd of people gathered at the Mount Tennis Club on Sunday saw some of the best tennis players in New Zealand in action at the first Golden Homes Sunday Shootout series.

The event was planned to be held at the club's brand new courts at Blake Park every month from October to January. Wet weather wiped out last month so the unique new format was finally on show.


The fast-paced, one-set match format is the creation of former touring professional Jason Helms, who grew up in Rotorua. Each tournament has 16 singles players competing over three hours, with men and women playing against each other in one-set matches for the first time in New Zealand.

"This gave our local juniors a chance of a lifetime to play matches against some of the highest-level players they have ever had a chance to compete against, with possibly the largest crowds they would have faced," Helms said.

"To see these kids with the biggest smiles on their faces after a loss, because they had the chance to play against a world ranked player, was testament to what this tournament was about and that alone made the tournament a success."

There were plenty of exciting matches to keep the crowd enthralled in the one-set knockout format.

Otumoetai teenager Caelen Potts had a great first round match hitting stroke for stroke in some fantastic long rallies against the No 1 seed, Rhett Purcell from Auckland, before losing 6-2. Young Rotorua-based player Logan Nathan had an epic battle with James Wilce going down in Sunday Shootout's first tiebreaker.

Tauranga's Kalais Going and Wellington-based Kelly Southwood made history by being participants in New Zealand's first unisex singles draw.

Going won her first match comfortably and in the second was matched up against second seed Alexander Klintcharov. She went down 6-1 in the game regarded as one of the highlights of the day.

The best match of the day undoubtedly was on court 1 between No 3 seed Justin McGraw and Purcell in the semifinal. The match had everyone on the edge of their seats right to the end and was decided on a sudden death point in the tiebreaker won by Purcell.

The star of the tournament without a doubt from a Bay of Plenty point of view was unseeded Rotorua-based Jesse Galvin-Dawson, who beat both Klintcharov and No 4 seed Daniel Brown, giving him the chance at winning the title in the final.

But unfortunately, he was not strong enough to beat one of New Zealand's top-ranked players in Purcell, who won $2000 for his efforts.

The next Sunday Shootout is back at Mount Maunganui's excellent courts on December 10.