Winners crowned and ASB Classic wildcards secured
New Zealand's top tennis players battled it out for prized ASB Classic wildcards at Pascoes The Jewellers New Zealand Tennis Championships over the weekend.
ASB Classic organisers are pleased to confirm the kiwi wildcards for the 2016 ASB Classic. The men's doubles and singles champions earned a main draw wildcard, while the winner of the women's singles title claimed a singles qualifying wildcard and the women's doubles winners are entitled to a main draw wildcard into the ASB Classic.
Mike Venus overcame Artem Sitak to claim the men's singles main draw spot in powerful style taking the first set 6-1. The second set was a tighter affair however Venus was too strong edging Sitak 6-4.
Venus was excited to win the ASB Classic wildcard again "I'll be back on the practice court on Monday preparing and getting ready and will hopefully have a good week when it rolls around in January."
It gives the North Shore based Kiwi the chance to improve on his second round appearance in 2015 when he became the first New Zealander in 12 years to win a main draw singles matches at the ATP level event.
It was a double success for Venus who claimed the doubles title with Sitak beating defending champions Finn Tearney and Wesley Whitehouse. Sitak and Venus took the first set 6-3, but Tearney and Whitehouse weren't giving up easily and took the second set 6-4. The championship went down to the wire with a super tiebreak 10-7 going Sitak and Venus' way having trailed 1-4 early on.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Rosie Cheng took charge of the women's final against Sacha Jones. Cheng closed out the match 7-5, 6-0 to win the singles qualifying wildcard.
Cheng and Jones then teamed up in the women's doubles, successfully defeating Leela Beattie and Joanna Carswell in the final 6-2, 6-2.
"It's fantastic to offer our homegrown talent the opportunity to play in our international tournament. It's quite an achievement to win the national title, but now they have the chance to play the world's best at the ASB Classic." says Tournament Director, Karl Budge.
"We love seeing the kiwis play here. I think it was the best night of the two weeks last year when Mike won his first round match. I hope they can all have a chance to do it again this year," said Budge.
"With some of the tennis world's biggest names competing in the 2016 ASB Classic, the wildcard provides a wonderful opportunity for New Zealand's local tennis stars to play in their home international tournament with their biggest fans there to cheer them on," Mark Graham ASB Head of Community and Sponsorship says. "We look forward to seeing some great tennis from our local players at the ASB Classic."
The women's ASB Classic qualifying rounds begin on Saturday 2 January at the ASB Tennis Arena, while the men's ASB Classic qualifying rounds begin on Saturday 9 January, at the ASB Tennis Arena.
The New Zealand Tennis Championship tournament was held between the 7th and 12th of December. The tournaments earlier rounds were hosted at the Albany Tennis Park, North Harbour and the semis and finals at the ASB Tennis Arena, Auckland.