The Strongest Entries for New Zealand’s Tennis Championships Confirmed
Entries for the New Zealand Tennis Championships set to take place early next month have now been confirmed, and the tournament as it stands is perhaps the strongest it has been for many years –and certainly one of the largest entries for some time. The men’s singles highlights the deficiency in top world-ranked singles tennis players, but this is more than offset by world-class doubles athletes and the depth contenders taking part.
The Pascoes New Zealand Tennis Championships will be taking place from the 12th to the 17th of December this year, with the initial rounds at Albany Tennis Park, and those following to take place at the ASB Tennis Arena on the 16th and 17th. The men’s singles and doubles winners will receive the sought-after, and lucrative, main-draw Wildcards into January’s ASB Classic.
Michael Venus, the current defending champion and doubles world number 32, will return. His incredible record of four ATP doubles titles and five finals this year will ensure an exciting performance against Benoit Paire, the top-20 ranked French player in the 2016 ASB Classic.
Marcus Daniell, the top-50 ranked doubles player hailing from Wairarapa, and Ben McLachlan from Queenstown, now ranked in the top-200 for doubles players are once again taking part in the tournament after failing to do so a year ago, and will certainly add a measure of depth to the tournament as a whole.
It is a rare thing for Daniell to spend large amounts of time at home, and, although he is thoroughly enjoying spending time in New Zealand, he has stated that plenty of training is marking his time here.
Daniell has said that he is very much looking forward to playing in the upcoming tournament, and that being back in the country and spending time with friends and family is wonderful. He adds, however, that this does not mean that his work finishes, although training in New Zealand is a very enjoyable experience for him.
Daniell went on to say that the having Karl Budge as the ASB Classic Tournament Director putting up an ASB Wildcard for the winner was a credit to the tournament’s organisers, and to the whole Festival of Tennis as well. He mentioned that some of the younger male players were dangerous on the courts, and that some of the older athletes, himself included, do not make a habit of singles matches, but enjoyed competing with some of the world’s best players. He remarked that the contrast of these two approaches would make for some very interesting tennis games.
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