Young New Zealand tennis pros Erin Routliffe, Paige Hourigan and Valentina Ivanov headline the women's entry list for the New Zealand tennis championships at the Albany Tennis Centre in Auckland next month.
21-year-old Hourigan has completed her US college studies and is ready to embrace the pro ranks full time. She made an immediate impact in her foray onto the ITF circuit earlier this year and has now notched up 22 wins and 8 losses to improve her WTA ranking to 575. Hourigan captured the ITF Futures title in Setubal in Portugal in July before returning to college in the US for her final semester.
23-year-old Routliffe established herself as a world class doubles player in 2018 and qualified for Wimbledon for the first time while in singles she claimed her first ITF title in Egypt.
Tennis New Zealand High Performance Manager Simon Rea says the women's field is the strongest in recent memory.
"Tennis fans will be looking forward to seeing Erin, Paige and Valentina all in action at Albany in December," Rea said.
Australian based Ivanov represented New Zealand at the World Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires last month and the 17-year-old is rated highly by Rea.
"It is fantastic to see Val back in New Zealand and she'll be hoping for a fortnight of strong performances in the lead-up to the ASB classic and the junior Australian Open."
There are 56 entries for the men's singles which is headlined by New Zealand number one Rubin Statham and a number of New Zealand tennis' future stars. Macsen Sisam will be looking to go one better than he did last year when he was runner up to Finn Tearney who is back from a stint at Durham University in the UK to defend his title.
"Having Rubin Statham and Finn Tearney, New Zealand's Davis Cup singles duo as recently as February 2017, in action also is a real bonus for the event. I'm excited to see Rhett Purcell back in action under the Kiwi flag and he'll be a strong contender also," Rea said.
Wellington's Isaac Becroft and national 16s champion George Stoupe have also entered along with a number of players who have been plying their trade out on the ITF circuit in recent months: Rhett Purcell, Alexander Klintcharov, and Alex Hunt.
"The potential next generation of Davis and Fed Cup representatives will be loving the opportunity to knock off some of the incumbents and so for Isaac, Macsen, George, Valentina and Elys Ventura it's a great opportunity for them to further advance their claims as being among New Zealand's very best at this point in time," Rea said.
The Pascoe's New Zealand Tennis Championships start at the Albany Tennis Centre on Tuesday the 11th of December and run through to Sunday the 16th of December.