Kiwis play for ASB Classic Wildcards
Pascoes The Jewellers New Zealand Tennis Championships get underway next week in Auckland with players aiming to win wildcards into the 2016 ASB Classic. The men’s doubles and singles champions will be rewarded with a main draw wildcard, while the winner of the women's singles title gains a singles qualifying wildcard and the doubles winners claim a main draw wildcard into the ASB Classic.
The men’s contest for a wildcard will be fierce with entries from New Zealand’s top talent including Finn Tearney (366), Rubin Statham (389), Michael Venus (668) and Artem Sitak.
Tearney has skyrocketed up the rankings this year starting the year in 1600s, and has beaten two top 200 players along the way.
Statham has suffered from injury this year, but has also beaten a number of top 200 players and will be out to prove his fitness.
Venus who is ranked 44 in the doubles is in top form after winning the Canterbury Open, he also returns as the defending champion. Venus defeated Statham in three sets last year at the championships and made good use of his wildcard earlier this year by winning his first round against Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez, who was ranked 109 at the time. Venus then went down to eventual semi-finalist Lucas Pouille in the second.
Artem Sitak rounds out the top four seeds, he is currently ranked 43 in the world in doubles. Sitak has experienced national glory having taken the title in 2010 and 2013.
In the women’s draw is defending champion and four-time winner Sacha Jones who will sit in third seed, she slots in behind top seed Leela Beattie and 17-year-old Rosie Cheng who was a semi-finalist at the 2014 New Zealand Championships. In fourth seed is Ashleigh Harvey, aged 16 who represented New Zealand at the 2015 WTA Futures STatrs tournament in Singapore and the IC Asian Junior Challenger.
The New Zealand Tennis Championship tournament is being held 7 to 12 December. The tournaments earlier rounds will be hosted at the Albany Tennis Park, North Harbour with the semis and finals at the ASB Tennis Arena, Auckland.
For those interested in watching the progress of the New Zealand Championships Semi-finals and Finals will be shown LIVE on Sky Sport.
Tickets can be purchased for the New Zealand Tennis Championships. General admission tickets to the semis and finals can be purchased from Ticketek. Gate sales will open an hour prior to scheduled play. http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/show.aspx?sh=TENNISCH15&v=AST