Under-18 champion to play in open

Elys Ventura. Photo: Getty Images
Elys Ventura. Photo: Getty Images
One of New Zealand’s most promising young players has been signed to play in next month’s Otago Indoor Open.

Elys Ventura (17) joins Leela Beattie as a confirmed entrant for the tournament to be held at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin from the September 21-23.

Ventura is the reigning under-18 national champion.

She received the WTA Future Stars Li Na inspiration award at the World Tour finals in Singapore last year.

Ventura received the accolade for the way she embodied the spirit of the game on and off the court.

Beattie and Ventura are jointly ranked ninth in New Zealand.

Beattie’s unbeaten run at interclub and Auckland’s premier club competition, Caro Bowl, spans more than three years and more than 50 matches.

Tournament director Ahmad Abdul-Rahman said Beattie and Ventura would add some real quality to the tournament.

‘‘Having two of New Zealand’s top women enter the tournament will showcase the very best in women’s tennis and it continues the momentum and growth of the event,’’ Abdul-Rahman said.

The tournament will be a joint men’s and women’s event.

It drew a record number of entries last year and Abdul-Rahman is confident this year’s edition will be even better.

‘‘Last year we worked hard to produce a quality experience for players and spectators, so attracting such a high calibre of entries affirms we are on the right track, creating an exciting and appealing tournament,’’ he said.

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