Tennis juniors battle for titles

Marlborough player Oscar Parkinson reaches high to attempt a forehand return during his doubles match with brother Felix against Joe Yank and Will Poff last weekend. Photo: Peter Jones.

The Marlborough Tennis Association hosted the New World Blenheim Marlborough Junior Winter Open on July 11-12, one of the first junior tournaments to occur since lockdown.

Despite being held amid school holiday activities a strong turnout from locals and visitors enjoyed superb weather conditions and tight competition at the Forrest Winery Marlborough Tennis Centre.

The girls open division saw some high-quality tennis. The singles final featured Cantabrians Nishitha Maarka, the top seed, and Lily Mcharg. Maarka took out the title 6-2, 6-1 and then the pair combined to win the doubles title over Marlborough players Grace Howard and Ella Sowman, who fought hard but eventually lost 6-4, 6-3.

The boys open division singles title was won convincingly by Nelson and NZ representative Harry Pugh, while local brothers Oscar and Felix Parkinson claimed the doubles title.

North Island visitor Annabel Chapman went through six matches in total undefeated, claiming the girls 12 and under singles title over Emmeline Gale and then combining with Dallas Ehau to win the doubles.

The 12 and under boys grade saw close matches and long games.  Mathew Campbell from Dunedin won the final over Eejin Tay and then combined with Anzac Robinson-Hawkins to win the doubles over the local duo of Elijah O’Donnell and Sid Yank.

In the 10 and 12 under girls section a mixed division was created. Bessie Barry from West Coast won the final against Aviva Kurtovic 6-3, 6-0.

The 10 and under boys comprised a nine-strong field and also featured some  lengthy matches. Jake Karathra survived a marathon two-hour semi-final, then took out the singles title 4-1, 4-0 over Frank Mcharg. He also won the doubles, combining with Zac Fleming to defeat Santiago Brozzo and Nick Rayner in a tense final 5-4, 5-4.

The 8 and 10 under boys joined some 10-year-olds in a special division. Vatsal Maarka defeated Samuel Gale to claim the 8s title and locals Kobe Hart and Charlie Clark played the final, Kobe defeating Charlie 5-3, 4-1.

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