Tennis: Easy run to semis for Hollands

Former Otago player Dianne Hollands has dropped only one game on her way to the semifinal of the New Zealand Championships in Albany. Today, she faces in-form national junior champion Paige Hourigan (Wanganui), a player many are expecting to follow Marina Erakovic on the professional road. Hollands has pursued a college career with great success in the United States, but struggled in the cutthroat professional circuit subsequently.

Hourigan won her first two matches easily before coming from a set down to beat third seed Abigail Guthrie in the quarterfinals. Queenstown's Louise Oxnevad could not continue her giant-killing run after putting out second seed Tracey O'Connor 6-1, 6-4 in the second round, losing 6-3, 6-1 to Kataraina Hunia in the quarterfinals. Like many of the players this week, Oxnevad is on a tennis scholarship semester break. Former national junior champion Hunia is now based in Australia. Ben McLachlan, another product of Queenstown, lost to top seed Dan King-Turner 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, but had good wins over Olly Sadler and Dan Davies in earlier rounds.

His brother, Riki, won a round before losing to former Davis Cup squad member Adam Thompson 6-4, 6-4. The McLachlan brothers, who play doubles for Berkeley, have reached the final of that event without dropping a set and meet third seeds Jaden Grinter and Adam Lee in the final. Grinter and Lee eliminated top seeds Artem Sitak and Sebasian Lavie in the semifinals.

Otago Open champion Libby Scott, also on a tennis scholarship, lost to seventh seed Imogen Golder after beating Lana Popovich but, partnered by Heidi Stewart, made it to the doubles semifinal before losing to top seeds Guthrie and Emma Hayman.

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