The Wanganui representative tennis scene has received international reinforcements as the junior squad was defeated by a strong Manawatu team 17-5 in their games at the weekend.

Matches were played at the Bassett St courts in singles, doubles and mixed doubles formats.

Since the departure of several talented home-grown teenagers from the junior and senior Wanganui teams in the past two seasons, the current junior squad includes students originally from Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong, alongside their kiwi counterparts.

"International students have increased the local standard, adding experience and determination to help all perform at a higher level," said coach Leela Beattie, who took over the full programme in September.


One of Wanganui's five wins at the weekend came from the mixed doubles team of top girl Natsumi Kuwubara (Japan) and top boy Jacob Wulff (Germany), who won their game in a super tiebreaker 10-8, after sets of 6-7- 6-1.

Kuwubara is currently at Cullinane College, while Wulff is at Wanganui Collegiate.

The next representative fixture is for the Wanganui senior team, competing in the annual hexagonal tournament against the other central regions in Wellington on March 24-25.