Winning double for Cashmere in Christchurch interclub tennis

Photo: File
Photo: File
Cashmere’s Johnny McHarg drew on his 32 years’ experience playing premier tennis to inspire his young team to an opening round win against Christchurch interclub competition newcomers Country Ashburton.

McHarg had a close-fought top of the table 3-6 6-3 10-8 win over Mid Canterbury coach Jack Tiller before last year's beaten finalists condemned Country Ashburton, who return to the competition after a 25-year break, to a 5-1 victory last Saturday.

“It was pretty tough, Jack’s a great guy and I think I had a bit of luck,” said McHarg, who was also relieved with young recruit Nant Prachuabmoh's debut.

He had a three set win over Sam Bubb and combined with James Meredith to win their doubles tie in straight sets over Bubb and Jack Tiller.

“While there are big changes to some of the teams in the competition this season, the number of young players coming through is exciting. For me that is what is going to make this season special,” McHarg said.

The Covid-19 situation in the United States has also impacted on the competition with several college players remaining in Christchurch for the first part of the summer season, including Phillip Hoeper (Shirley), Daiki Naka (Te Kura/Hagley) and Grayson Cullen (Waimairi).

Elmwood and Te Kura/Hagley Park were also opening round winners in the men's division, the latter claiming a tight seven sets to six win over reigning champions Waimairi.

In the women's four-team competition Te Kura/Hagley avenged last season's final loss to Waimairi and Cashmere/ Burnside beat Elmwood, who were at least boosted by Abby Mason's 6-0 6-1 win over Canterbury Open winner Tessa McCann, a Canterbury Open winner.

Mason was in sparkling form having played three International Tennis Federation events during her school holidays, from which she claimed two wins in the doubles format.

"The score was a deceiving. We were both playing well and had some very close games," Mason said.

Cashmere/Burnside looked impressive, with Dunedin-based 14-year-old Charlie Byers justifying the trip north with an emphatic 6-1 6-1 victory over Emma Mason.

Cashmere stalwart McHarg was full of praise for the club's newest recruit.

“Charlie is making a real effort to play up here which is great for someone so young,” he said.

The second round of the interclub competition is held after Labour weekend.

Men: Cashmere 13, Elmwood 12, Te Kura/Hagley Park 11, Waimairi 6, Country Ashburton 5, Shirley 4.
Women: Cashmere/Burnside 12, Te Kura/Hagley 12, Elmwood 5, Waimairi 5.

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