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New Zealand's Future Marina Erakovics Compete At Aussie Nationals

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

30 JUNE 2008 - New Zealand's top junior tennis representatives are presently slugging it out and recording some strong wins amongst the Aussies at the Optus 12's and 14's Australian Winter Nationals in Brisbane.

Claudia Williams of Auckland, competing in the girls 12's competition defeated Annabelle Ekonomou (NSW) 6-3 6-0 in the first round. Williams had a good start to the match after a tough first few games, she was able to gain control of the first set and then run away with the match.

In the second round, Williams faced high seeded Brigette Beck of Victoria. She had a taxing start to the match and found herself down 1-5. A determined fight back saw her take the lead 6-5 only to go down in the tie breaker 3-7. Despite a courageous effort, Williams wasn't able to combat the increasingly confident Beck in the second set and dropped that 1-6.

Playing in her first Australian Nationals Shaani Te Mata Frost put in a solid performance to dispatch her first round opponent Taylah Beckman in straight sets 6-2 6-2. However in the second, went down to Chanelle Naumovska 6-2 6-0. Some valuable match experience was gained by Te Mata Frost in this match. The score does not reflect the rugged contest she had with the 14th seed and she showed signs that she could be a definite player to watch in the future.

Day two also saw a high quality start from Canterbury's Leela Beattie, who had a convincing win in her 14's first round match against Emily Belperio (SA) 6-1 6-1. Beattie showed strong signs that her recent form in Spain looks likely to continue in Brisbane and she could be a real kiwi threat to the toughened Aussie players.

Auckland's Cameron Norrie representing New Zealand in the boys 12's age group has made a great start comfortably securing three convincing wins in the singles and doubles competition.

In the first round Norrie breezed past Nathan Stagg from Victoria 6-0 6-0 and continued his dominance in the second, dismissing up and coming 10 year old Oliver Anderson (VIC) in convincing fashion 6-1 6-1. This sets up a rematch with 2nd seed Joshua Bray (NSW) who Norrie lost to in straight sets earlier this year.

Fellow Kiwi Niko Vulinovich partnered Norrie in their opening doubles match, overpowering Tristan Dougan (QLD) and Alex Favaloro (VIC) 6-1 6-2, while Cantabrians Elliot Darling and Ben Johnston paired up to take their doubles opener 6-1 5-7 (10-4) over Western Australians Justin Holland and Lachlan Bates.

Vulinovich, Darling and Johnston all fell to their Aussie opponents in the main draw first round singles, however in similar fashion, all turned it around in the consolation round to record their first individual wins for the tournament.

The 14's which kicked off a day later were competed in idyllic conditions with Sam Matheson and Harry James taking centre stage. Their Australian counterparts proved too strong in the ever competitive Australian arena. Both boys showed fighting qualities competing in the hot conditions.

Captain of the Boy's Team James Greenhalgh sent this report...

All players are adapting well to the structured environment and enjoying the experience. Two ideal days of preparation, education consisting of nutrition, budgeting tips, team warm up and cool down sessions, on court practices and off court conditioning stood the players in good stead and well prepared for the tournaments gruelling schedule.

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