Former Kiwi tennis No 1 Sacha Jones, who now represents
Australia, will start her campaign for a title on New Zealand
soil tomorrow (Tuesday) when she takes the court in the
US$25,000 Configure Express Pro Challenger event at the
Renouf Tennis Centre in Wellington.
Jones, the second seed and ranked 228th, is the highest seed
to take the court tomorrow. The 21-year-old hasn't won an
international professional title in New Zealand, although she
has claimed around half a dozen overseas titles at this prize
Jones faces 17-year-old Riko Sawayangi of Japan who is ranked
606th in the world. She has a great draw through to the
quarters where she would be expected to take on a Chinese
player ranked at just over 300 and then be seeded to face in
the semifinals Russian Arina Rodionova who is 268th and has
been in good form over the past few weeks.
Other matches of interest on the first day include Waikato
player Luci Barlow who came through qualifying and will face
Japan's Makoto Ninomiya in the first round. Fifteen-year-old
wildcard Claudia Williams from Auckland faces Israel's Keren
Shlomo who is ranked 416.
The tournament top seed, teenager Chanel Simmonds (South
Africa), who is ranked at 196, was a top 15 ranked junior two
years ago and has won nine professional tournament titles.
She will play her first match on Wednesday while top Kiwi
junior Emily Fanning is also on court for her singles on