The Tennis Auckland Spring Tournament – the last In the Specsavers Tournament Series -was played on the weekend of the 31 Aug and 1st September. In the Mens open singles final top seeded Justin Megraw from the Mairangi Bay club proved too strong for Rhett Purcell from Kohimarama Club beating him 6-2, 6-1. Prior to the final Rhett who was the number 6 seed had a good run beating Gilles De Gouy (Ngataringa Club) seeded 2nd in the quarter final and Alexander Klintcharov (Campbells Bay Club) seeded 4th in the semi -final.
In the open Ladies singles top seeded Mia Middleton from Mairangi Bay Club was the victor in a close final where she proved too strong in the third set beating Shaylee Syme (Cockle Bay Club) 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. Auckland players Lana Popovich and Tiana Windbuchler were the losing semi-finalists.
The inaugural Specsavers Tournament Series has been a huge success this winter, with 77 individual men and 28 women taking part. After a season of eleven tournaments held at six different club venues the man who came out victorious was Justin Megraw, Head Coach at Mairangi Bay Tennis Club. Justin is a former Australian touring professional, his last tour competition in 2001. He now leads the coaching and player development programme at Mairangi Bay Tennis Club and has been doing so for some years. Runner up Sam Matheson is a young aspiring player from Mairangi Bay Club. Sam travelled to Europe a year or two ago playing some of the junior tournaments, getting a feel for the surfaces and depth of competition in the northern hemisphere. Sam’s feedback on the tournament was very positive; “I really enjoyed the Spec Savers series as it gave me a chance to play me a huge variety of players. I am aiming for college in January and this tournament series was a great lead up to that and Caro Bowl!”
The Womens’ Series resulted in two category winners. The Series Winner on Weighted Points was Mia Middleton. Another Mairangi Bay player Mia played at the top of the NZ Junior Girls throughout the age groups and has had plenty of ITF and Australian experience. Mia won the last two events, at Royal Oak Club and the season finale at Scarbro Tennis Centre.
The Womens’ Series Winner on Unweighted Points was Luci Barlow who won 6 of the Series. Luci’s family farms close to Morrinsville in the Waikato but she is a consistent highly performing player on the Auckland womens’ tennis scene, travelling up often to play Caro Bowl for Parnell Club and Chelsea Cup for Mairangi Bay Club. A former recipient of the Gordon Masters Trophy which is awarded to the Chelsea Cup player showing the most outstanding contribution both on and off the tennis court, Luci is a wonderful role model for on court excellence and off court qualities.
Grateful thanks go to Specsavers Albany for sponsoring the winter tournament series and to Wilson for providing all tournament balls. Tennis Auckland and Tennis Northern contributed additional prize funding. Our thanks go to all players, tournament organisers, host clubs, coaches and spectators for your involvement and support – it wouldn’t have been possible without you. We will review the series and look towards continuing this year’s successful series next year. We’ll rely on you to spread the word!