Hawke's Bay tennis player Dan Rowe hopes his latest taste of international success will enhance his chances of scoring a United States college scholarship.
"I'm ready for the market. I put my name out there at the weekend so here's hoping," Rowe said.
If successful the 17-year-old Napier Boys High School Year 12 student would travel to the US in August 2020. Last week he competed in the International Tennis Federation's Waikato Junior tournament in Hamilton.
Unseeded in the under-18 singles, Rowe, beat the second seed, New Caledonia's Clement Mainguy, on his way to the semifinals where he was eliminated with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Waikato 15-year-old Anton Shepp, who plays No 1 for Hamilton Boys High School.
"Reaching those semifinals ranks up there with my highlights which also includes semifinal matches in doubles at tournaments in Fiji and New Caledonia earlier in the year," Rowe explained.
The Hawke's Bay Lawn club player who finished second in the Bay's senior residentials in May will tackle the under-18 nationals and New Zealand Residentials in Auckland during December. His current national under-19 ranking is 14th.
A Wellington premier interclub player for the Khandallah club, Rowe has been coached by Wellingtonian Clint Packer for the past two months.
"Improving my first-serve percentages and getting more pace on my serve are my biggest work-ons. But I'm always looking to improve my all-round game," Rowe said.
Because of the Hamilton tournament Rowe was unavailable for the Tennis Eastern senior team which lost 17-7 to Manawatu in a Palmerston North-hosted Adidas Cup fixture at the weekend. Former New Zealand Davis Cup team member and Kiwi No 1 Dan Willman, 43, made his debut for the Eastern side.
Willman, who was ranked among the world's top 300 players in 2002, recently moved to Hawke's Bay from the US.
He lost his singles match to Manawatu No 2 Kurt McNamara 7-5, 6-4 but had a 6-3, 6-1 win in the No 1 doubles fixture with Luke Donovan against McNamara and former Mexico Davis Cup player Victor Romero who was ranked among the world's top 400 at one stage.
While the Hawke's Bay-dominated Eastern men's players won their fixtures 5-4 the Manawatu women were too strong and won all but one of their nine fixtures. Manawatu were 12-6 up after singles and doubles play and only needed to win one of the mixed doubles matches to win the tie.
They won five.
"Manawatu were deserved winners on the day and should be congratulated for what they have done to produce such strong junior female tennis players. Their women's team was impressive and we have a lot of work to do if we are going to catch them up," Tennis Eastern development officer Sean Davies said after returning from Palmerston North.
Tennis Eastern challenge Taranaki for the Christie Cup, the symbol of Central Districts tennis supremacy, in January.
Meanwhile the chances of the Greendale club completing a repeat of last season's domination of Hawke's Bay's interclub competitions, when they won seven of the eight, have been dashed. While Greendale won the women's grade in the Thump 2's, Hastings won the premier men's comp and Central Hawke's Bay the men's reserve grade.
Two of the Bay's promising juniors, 15-year-old Sam Cave and her 13-year-old sister, Alex, formed the winning Greendale team despite not winning a doubles match during the competition. They beat another Greendale team 2-1 in the final.
Sam beat Abby Oliver 6-2, 6-1 and Alex beat Stacey Margerison 6-3, 6-3. Oliver and Margerison won the doubles 6-2, 7-6. Hastings beat Greendale 3-0 in the premier men's final.
Last summer's Hawke's Bay residentials champion Rynold Timothy beat 17-year-old Hamish Lee 6-3, 6-3. National seniors 45plus champion Craig Giddy beat Jac Wardrope 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Timothy and Giddy won the doubles 6-2, 6-3.