It's just as well Hawke's Bay tennis player Craig Giddy opted for one event in his national seniors debut in Lower Hutt last week.

Giddy's final in the men's 45 plus singles at the Mitchell Park club lasted 3hrs15m before he completed a 6-7, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Lower Hutt's Jason Kane.

"It was a good grind ... definitely the highlight of my tennis career," Giddy said.

"I had a holiday coaching camp to run and I was grateful for Alex [Turley] who looked after things while I was away," the Hastings Tennis and Squash Club's professional coach explained.


"It was because of work and coaching commitments that I hadn't entered the nationals in the past," Giddy said.

Despite the fact it was his first appearance at the nationals Giddy, 47, was given the top seeding in his eight-strong draw. This reflected the Bay's third-ranked man's status on the national gradings.

His opponent Kane, who is a Wellington-based professional coach with experience at International Tennis Federation seniors tournaments, was unseeded.

"My quarter-final was almost as tough as the final and fortunately my semifinal was a little easier," Giddy said.

"I intend to try to retain this title next year when the nationals will be played in Auckland. Because the tournament will be played in Auckland I expect there will be a bigger draw for me and the standard will be a lot higher because of the numbers playing up there. So it's important I continue to play at the highest level possible to stay sharp."

A former Eastern Province title holder in South Africa, Giddy, who has lived in Hawke's Bay for the past six years, played for Hawke's Bay in their Christie Cup challenge against Manawatu in November and will play for the Bay again this weekend when they take on Taranaki in Havelock North on Saturday and Manawatu at Greendale on Sunday. He was one of four Hawke's Bay players in action at the five-day national seniors and one of two to return home with gold medals.

Havelock North's Margaret Hall won gold, silver and bronze medals in the 80 plus age group. A multiple national titleholder and six-time New Zealand rep at ITF senior world championship level, she was a bronze medallist in Florida last year. Hall and Wellingtonian Jillian Roberts, who had recently moved up from the 75 plus age group, won gold in the doubles.

Hall and Western Bay of Plenty's Steve Salmon were beaten 6-1, 6-4 by Otago's Jean Stevens and Aucklander Evan Dela Rue in their mixed doubles final. Stevens and Dela Rue are ranked second in the world. It was Hall and Salmon's second consecutive silver after winning their first at last year's Christchurch-hosted nationals.

Hall finished third behind Stevens and Roberts in the singles.

Greendale's Victoria Kerrison, who has represented New Zealand at four world seniors tournaments, won three silver medals in her 65 plus age group. Kerrison lost a three-set singles final, the mixed doubles final with Western Bay of Plenty's Quentin Maisey and the doubles final with regular partner Sandy Tritt, of Waikato.

Havelock North's Cathie Clarkson won silver in her 60 plus singles after beating the third seed in three sets and the second seed in two. Clarkson was unplaced in the mixed doubles.