A young Otago tennis team, with seven juniors among the nine
players, will take on Southland and Southern Lakes in
Queenstown this weekend.
The side plays Southland on Saturday and will face a stern
examination from an experienced Lakes men's line-up on
However, Otago has been boosted by the return of Nelson
student Alex Low, who is being flown back from his holiday
job in Auckland, and by Otago Indoor Open winner Janos
Manyai, a Hungarian coach working out of Oamaru.
Manyai reached a position of eighth in his country before
recurring shoulder injuries saw him turn to coaching. He
showed in the recent tournament, where he beat Low in the
final, that he will be more than competitive even against
former professionals Lan Bale and Perry Crockett.
When you add the experienced Mark Milburn and Chris Bradley,
both of whom played at senior national level, the young Otago
lower order faces a stern task.
Lakes has national junior representative Miki Nobuzawa and
the talented James Smith as backup, while Otago has
youngsters Paddy Ou, Jong Kyu Kim and Carlos Reid.
Harry James, the Otago Open titleholder, and Oliver Reid, his
McGlashan team-mate, have exams on Monday and are
It will be up to the Otago women to take their share of
rubbers and three of the successful national 16s teams event
winners have been named. Sian English, Georgia Hume and
Jessie Stevenson will be joined by Hanna English.
Hume and Sian English have plenty of outside tournament
experience, and have been playing interclub tennis in
Christchurch and Auckland, so should be match-ready. Hanna
English has played a variety of sports at provincial level
and is very fit, while Stevenson pushed Hume to three sets at
the recent tournament.
The Lakes women's squad is also full of experience, but does
not have as many stars as the men.
The Southland team has several handy players at the top of
the order, but could struggle to get wins further down, and
Otago has the advantage of playing it in the afternoon,
following its morning fixture against Southern Lakes.
Points from the weekend will be added to the second round of
the Southern League to be held in Dunedin in February.