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Stars coming to Wellington creates sporting highlight

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The small team at Tennis Central have done it again and come up with a tennis event bringing three ATP ranked singles players, two top 60 ATP doubles ranked players, plus four WTA ranked players to the Capital in a couple of weeks for the Maxim Financial Wellington Tennis Open

Two-time former champ Finn Tearney(Wellington) heads the men’s field ranked at 561 in the world along with Rhett Purcell from Auckland and Wellington’s Olly Sadler (a former champ) will also be seeded in the singles as they have ATP rankings from playing pro tournaments around the world.

Top junior players Ajeet Rai and Finn Reynolds add to the field along with two former Wellingtonians, Zach Whaanga and Kiranpai Pannu are both producing top results in the United States College system at Columbus State University. Pannu recently won a couple of College titles and Whaanga made the semis at the NZ Tennis Champs last year

Playing doubles in Wellington will be Marcus Daniell. He is at a career-high ATP doubles ranking of 37 in the world and was a finalist at three ATP tournaments this year as well as making the third round of doubles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

In the singles draw will be Artem Sitak who is currently ranked 55 in the world in doubles. He was a finalist in two ATP events in 2017 and reached the third round of Wimbledon doubles.

The women’s draw features last year’s champion, Julia Glushko from Israel who is currently ranked 288 and has been ranked in the top 80 in the past. British player Suzy Larkin who has been based in Auckland recently and won the Auckland champs will be second seed. She has a current ranking of 676 and played most of the year in Challenger tournaments around Asia and Australia.

Third seed is likely to be Jo Carswell from Auckland has a WTA ranking of 901 represented New Zealand in Fed Cup in 2017 as did 20-year-old Paige Hourigan who hails from Wanganui and has a WTA ranking after playing a number of ITF tournaments in the United States.

"What we’ve got this year is a great list of players. Having women’s defending champ, Julia (Glushko) back is a big bonus along with British pro Suzy Larkin and our own WTA ranked Paige Hourigan and Jo Carswell makes for a strong women’s draw.

Having three ATP ranked singles players with Wellington’s Finn Tearney as top seed as well as Artem Sitak in singles and Marcus Daniell who is originally from the region in the doubles is great. Both are highly respected around the world. The returning players from US scholarships will make this a tournament a real spectacle. I’m sure we’ll have people keen to come along and watch," says Flo Perret, Events and Operations Manager, Tennis Central.

With time still remaining before the entry list cut off Tennis Central are hoping to gain further top players into the tournament which runs December 19-22 at the Renouf Tennis Centre.

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