Olympic medallists can't yet make call on Te Anau tournament

Bronze medallists Marcus Daniell (left) and Michael Venus at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Getty...
Bronze medallists Marcus Daniell (left) and Michael Venus at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Getty Images
Some top players will be back for the Te Anau Tennis Invitational but two Olympic bronze medallists are yet to confirm if they can make it.

The tournament, which has been running since 2012, is to be held in Te Anau on December 28 and 29.

Te Anau Tennis president Greg Sheppard said Olympic bronze medallists Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell were yet to see if they could gain spots in MIQ before they could commit to the tournament.

Venus played in it last year, losing to five-time invitational winner and New Zealand No1 Rubin Statham in the last game of the tournament.

Daniell has also played in previous invitationals, coming second to Statham in finals.

Sheppard said eight players would compete in the two-day event.

Unlike most other tournaments, each player has three games of tennis.

‘‘It’s a very unique draw,’’ Sheppard said.

‘‘Usually at other tournaments, once they lose a game they’re finished.’’

The event was usually held before the ASB Classic in Auckland, but next year’s classic will not be held.

Other players to feature at this year’s Te Anau event will be Ajeet Rai (ranked second), Finn Tearney (fourth) and Oliver Statham (sixth).

Sheppard said the timing of the tournament had been pivotal in being able to secure some top players.

‘‘There’s not really much else going on at that time of year,’’ he said.

While all court-side tables were sold out, spectators would be able to buy tickets at the gate on the days of play.

About 400 to 450 spectators were expected to watch each day’s tennis, Sheppard said.


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