Tons of tennis in store for clubs and juniors

2008-09-12 00:00

THE next few months going in to the end of the year offer a busy schedule for serious club tennis players, as well as juniors.

The prestigious KZN Shield event, won by the former top club in the capital city and the province, known as City Tennis Club, and featuring prominent players of the time in the likes of Graham Ford and his now wife, Liz Gordon, plus Jeff Player, Gerald Howard and many more, begins on Sunday, September 21.

The KZN Shield is the most highly-regarded club event in KZN and this year is split into a men’s Shield and a women’s Shield. In 2007 the event was combined and Pietermaritzburg’s Braaiketts Club won the KZN Shield, which was the first time since 1990 that a PMB club had won this event.

The midlands tennis association (MTA) were against changing the format but were out voted by the Durban clubs. As the Shield is the top-ranked club event in the province, the MTA believe there should be women and men together in the same team, albeit playing against other club’s men and women in singles and doubles plus a mixed doubles component.

Pietermaritzburg will be represented in both the men’s and women’s “A” divisions by the Braaiketts club and in the men’s “B” division by a combined Maritzburg Varsity and Braaiketts side.

The KZN Shield is played on a knockout basis and the final is due to take place in mid-October.

In November, a Pietermaritzburg junior team and a PMB senior team will meet their Durban counterparts at Kershaw Park in the capital. This event used to be a major feature of the tennis calendar in KZN but has not been played for many years and it is hoped it again will become an annual event, with the venue alternating between the two cities every year.

The senior event is planned for Sunday, November 16 and will comprise seven men’s and women’s singles matches; two men’s doubles affairs; two women’s doubles and two mixed doubles clashes to make a total of 20 interesting matches.

All the top players in KZN will likely be seen in the capital during this day-long competition.

The junior event is set down for the preceding Sunday, November 9, at Kershaw Park. This event will comprise an age 13 and under boys’ and girls’ team, as well as a boys’ and girls’ team of age group 17 and under.

At the end of November, the KZN closed senior event will be held at Kershaw Park and comprise men’s and women’s singles; doubles and mixed doubles, played over the weekends of November 29 and 30 as well as December 6 and 7.

In the New Year the Braaiketts KZN open for seniors and juniors will take place from January 7 to 11 at Kershaw Park.

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