Tennis tyros gather in Blenheim

Josh Harris won both the singles and doubles in the 10-and-under boys’ grade. Photo: Nigel Perry.

Young tennis players came from far and wide to take part in the 2020 Marlborough Junior Summer Open, sponsored by Clarke Construction, on January 17-19.

Over 90 players combined for a total of 200 matches from Friday to Sunday with local competitors enjoying plenty of success across the various grades.

In the 8-and-under boys grade the top two players battled their way to a super tie third set. Jamie Waugh from Fielding won, but local player Charlie Clark could be one to watch for the future. Visitor Meg Inwood won the 8-and-under girls title.

The 10-and-under boys’ field included 16 players, with an all-Marlborough final, between Josh Harris and Oliver Clarke, eventuating. Harris prevailed 4-0, 4-1 and added the doubles title in combination with another local, Alex Herd. They defeated Liam Howes and Max Sowman in a tense battle, coming down to an 11-9 third set super tie breaker.

The 10-and-under girls’ singles final was an all-Canterbury affair, Marijia Filipovic beating Aliyah Daly in the final. They then combined to take out the doubles title.

Local player Sid Yank made a bold showing in the 12-and-under boys’ grade. In a strong 16-player draw, with a great mix of Marlborough and out-of-town players, Yank had one of his best tournaments, eliminating the first and third seeds on his way to the final, where he tipped over fourth seed Tasman Daly from Christchurch, 6-3, 6-4. The top seeds in the doubles, Louis De Lautour and Daly were victorious but didn’t have it all their way taking it out 7-6, 6-4 against Issac Boomer and Connor Edmonds.

The 12-and-under girls’ final featured two locals, Jemimah O’Donnell beating Poppy Parkinson 6-2, 6-3. O’Donnell combined with Lilly Walkenhorst to take the doubles final against Poppy Parkinson and Ana Eradus.

The Open 1 Division Boys section sees older players and those with higher points doing battle and, with the top seed Oscar Sandford-Jury injured, the tournament was wide open. Two Canterbury players battled out the final with Blake Cullen taking the win over Pavle Filipovic 6-2, 6-2. It was almost an all-Marlborough affair in the doubles final with top seeds Jay Geris and Oscar Sandford-Jury meeting former Marlborough player Lucca Wiseman and Joseph Sandford-Jury. Joseph was eventually able to claim bragging rights over his older brother and he and Wiseman took it out 6-4, 7-6.

Liam Donaldson from the West Coast claimed the Open 2 Division Boys crown, beating Nelson-based Sean Hillberg.

The Open Division Girls final saw Canterbury-based Nishitha Maarka take on local Lily Parkinson in the final, winning 6-3, 7-5 despite Parkinson making a strong come back in the second set. Parkinson then combined with fellow local Ella Sowman to comfortably take out the doubles title.

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