Sian English (Otago) plays a forehand during her match
against Pascale Leroy (Southern Lakes) during a Southern
League match at Logan Park in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by
The Southern Lakes tennis team turned around a
first-round loss to Otago to win the Rennie Trophy in Dunedin
this weekend. Lakes won the second round 7-5 after losing the
first round on the sets countback in Queenstown.
The pivotal moments came in the doubles after the singles had
been shared 4-all. Otago needed to win only two but Lakes'
superior tactical appreciation of the doubles game and their
chosen combinations meant they took three of the four.
A key personnel change was the addition of former WTA-ranked
French woman Pascale Leroy, now resident in Wanaka, who beat
Sian English 6-2, 6-3 at No 1. She was too powerful at times
for her younger Otago opponent, but English competed hard and
Leroy had to earn her points.
Georgia Hume, Hanna English and Jessie Stevenson were all
efficiency when winning in straight sets against Suma Ito,
Hannah Speight and Felicity Oxnevad, but the Otago men
struggled to contribute their share.
No 1 Alex Low started to play too late against Perry Crockett
and went down 6-1, 7-5 in a big-serving, hard-hitting
contest. Jong Kyu Kim and Hamish Low lost in straight sets to
James Smith and Chris Bradley and it was left to Paddy Ou to
take the sole men's point for Otago when he beat national
junior representative Miki Nobuzawa 7-6, 6-1.
Nobuzawa had just returned from a stint in South Africa and
was a late replacement for an injured Mark Milburn. The three
doubles wins by Lakes were relatively clear cut and Otago
never threatened to overturn the continued success of
Southern Lakes of recent seasons. However, with the Otago
squad dominated by teenagers, and the gap closing, the future
looks promising. Division 2 was won by Otago B who beat North
Otago A 7-5.
Otago led 6-3 with the last three rubbers in progress late
into the evening, and North Otago closed up to 6-5 with two
sets in the bank on countback, but could not complete the
comeback after Otago took the final set in a marathon