Fri, Dec 8, 2023 4:40 PM

Premier tennis gap closes


Peter Jones

Rapaura Wairau River Blanc set up an enthralling premier interclub tennis decider next week, beating Marlborough Forrest Wines Whero, who have led the way all season, in a nail-biting clash on Wednesday evening.

The two top sides, who met at the Pollard Park courts, played out a tie that was ultimately decided by a countback of games won after matches were shared 3-3 and sets levelled at 6-6. Blanc eventually got the nod, winning 59 games to Whero’s 58, on a night where every game and every point counted.

The doubles were shared. Whero’s Chris Nott and Hamish Morrow defeated Jared Bell and Stu Campbell 6-3, 6-4, then Blanc’s Clyde Sowman and Heidi Stenhouse-Allen overcame Mieko Kimura and Owen Dodson by the same score.

There was an upset at the top of the singles, Bell downing Morrow 6-3, 6-4 to give his side a crucial point, while Stenhouse-Allen beat Kimura 6-4, 6-3 to provide Blanc’s third win.

Nott beat Sowman 6-2, 6-4 and Dodson downed Campbell 7-6, 6-4 to level the scores before the final countback.

Although Blanc won on Wednesday, Whero narrowly finished top of the log after the preliminary rounds. The sides will meet for the fourth time this season in the competition final on Wednesday, at the Marlborough Tennis Club courts.

In Wednesday's other match, with both sides out of running for the final, Rapaura Wairau River Noir flexed their muscle with a commanding 6-0 win over Marlborough Forrest Wines Ma.

Three of the matches went to a super tiebreaker. Glen Cameron defeated Jaco van Hensbergen 1-6, 6-2, 10-3, Max Sowman outlasted Koos Richter 7-6, 1-6, 13-11 while Oscar Sandford-Jury and Sowman edged out Dan Clarke and van Hensbergen 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.

In the battle of the number one singles players, Sandford-Jury accounted for Clarke 6-2, 6-0.

Points after round robin play: Whero 51, Blanc 49, Noir 32, Ma 12.

WK+ Presidents Grade Results, December 5

Division 1: Renwick Netsetters 3 Renwick Four Strung 1; Marlborough Chilli 2 (28) Renwick Racketeers 2 (21); Rapaura Masters 4 Marlborough Power 0; Rapaura Just Move 3 Rapaura Triple Fault 1.

Division 2: Marlborough Tennis the Menace 3 Rapaura Mavericks 1; Renwick Miss Hits 1 Rapaura Matador 3; Rapaura Pinot 0 Renwick Rookies 4; Marlborough Volleyeurs 1 Rapaura Newhawkes 3.

Division 3: Rapaura Hākinakina 2 (32) Renwick Chardonnay 2 (24); Renwick Racquets 0 Renwick BTL 4; Renwick Rebels 3 Grovetown Grove Tavern Turf & Tackle 1; Renwick Re-Strung 4 Renwick Raptors 0.

Division 4: Renwick Rascals 3 Rapaura Spring Creek 4 Square 1; Grovetown Grove Tavern Platters 0 (D) Rapaura Shiraz 4.

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