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Alistair Hunt Seles-Navratilova celebrity doubles

Media release
Monday January 31

Alistair Hunt in Seles-Navratilova celebrity doubles

Former Davis Cup representative Alistair Hunt will play a celebrity doubles with All Black Andrew Mehrtens and tennis legends, Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova in the tennis exhibition at the Westpac Centre on Thursday night.

Hunt today confirmed he will partner either of the international stars in doubles after their ASB Navratilova Seles Classic exhibition singles.

Canterbury Tennis executive director, David Blackwell says Hunt’s addition to the lineup is fantastic and should ensure that spectators will be treated to some top tennis in the doubles.

“It was important to have someone who could foot it with the very dynamic Mehrts. In Al Hunt we have a former international who has a huge following among Canterbury tennis enthusiasts,” David Blackwell says.

Hunt has retired from competing on the international circuit, but is coaching in Christchurch and is unbeaten in senior club tennis. He knows both women players from his days playing team tennis in the United States. He played against Navratilova on several occasions and was in the same team as Seles.

Hunt represented New Zealand for 10 years and beat players of the calibre of former Wimbledon champion, Richard Krajicek and current top player, Paradorn Srichaphan while a professional.

“I’m really looking forward to this doubles. I’ve been waiting since I was 14 when Merhts and I were both in the Canterbury team to get back at him. This is my first opportunity and nothing’s surer than we’ll both be wanting to win,” Hunt says.

Andrew Mehrtens is relishing his role in Thursday’s exhibition. For the curtain raiser to the Navratilova-Seles Classic exhibition singles he has organised a Canterbury Crusaders pairing of Chris Jack and Casey Laulala to take on a media team, yet to be announced. Merhts has confirmed he will be umpiring his colleagues.

David Blackwell says tickets have been selling well for Thursday’s exhibition.

“There are still plenty of very good seats available and we are expecting quite a bit of interest after tomorrow’s first match in the series in Auckland,” he says.

Navratilova, who has been competing in the Australian Open in Melbourne, and Seles are both playing for their first time ever in New Zealand.

They are both left-handers and former world number ones.


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