The Janet Agnew Carnival Doubles Tennis Tournament returns for its 32nd edition at the end of next week and signs are pointing to another top-class competition.

Tennis Northland's most popular tournament runs on the first weekend of February (February 3-4) and draws players from across the country in a bid for titles and prizes.

Tournament organiser Raewyn Heywood said the event's namesake is a continuing inspiration in Northland tennis circles.

"Janet's motivation and inspiration together with determination and hard work are the main reasons for the tournament's outstanding success," she said.


"The tournament has been running since 1987, after Janet sustained serious head injuries in a car crash in 1986 and she was told she would never play tennis again.

"Fortunately the doctor's original prognosis proved pessimistic, as Janet, with the help of family and friends, was back on the tennis court in no time.

"For 20 years Janet and her partner Graham Nesbit practically organised and ran the tournament on their own.

"However after being diagnosed with depression Janet was advised not to overdo things, so she now has helpers from the Tennis Northland Committee to help her out with obtaining the much-valued sponsorship."

There are still plenty of openings for budding players who are keen to show a strong backhand on the Thomas Neale Family Memorial Park Tennis Centre courts in Kamo, Whangarei.

The entry form can be found on Tennis Northland's website or email entries to

The A and B grade men's and ladies' doubles will be held on the Saturday with the A and B grade mixed doubles rounding off the weekend on the Sunday.

At last year's tournament, third-seeded Terry Mitchell and Jono Ussher took out the A grade men's doubles with Craigie McCullough and Paula Jane Stubbing winning the A grade ladies' division.

Like any other year, the Janet Agnew Carnival Doubles Tournament offers a wide range of prizes for those entering. This year they include a trip for two staying at the Copthorne Hotel in Paihia plus a Fullers trip for two on the Hole in the Rock cruise in the Bay of Islands.

Heywood said the sponsors have been paramount to the ongoing success of the event.

"We must thank the many sponsors who have supported the tournament over the years, because without them there would not be one," she said.

"Last year there was over $15,000 worth of product, cash and services donated by sponsors.

"Many of the sponsors have been with Janet from the beginning in 1987, so thanks to them for making the Janet Agnew Carnival Doubles a tournament to remember."