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NZ Gains Hosting Rights For Major Tennis Comp'

NZ Gains Hosting Rights For Major Tennis Competition

New Zealand has been awarded a major sporting event winning the hosting rights for the 2007 Asia/Oceania Fed Cup tennis competition to be held in Christchurch in April, 2007.

It is likely that 12 nations will participate in the event including tennis strongholds such as India, Thailand and Korea as well as New Zealand.

The event is a great opportunity for New Zealand to display its talented young players who are rapidly improving on the world rankings. Marina Erakovic, 18 has moved to a current ranking of 161 in singles and 277 in doubles. Leanne Baker is the second ranked Kiwi about to break back into the top-300 singles and is 163 in doubles.

Ellen Barry from Canterbury is just 17 and has quickly gone from no ranking halfway through this year to close to 600 in singles while Shona Lee, 17 is at 642 and Sacha Jones who has just celebrated her 16th birthday is just outside the top 10 junior rankings and already has a WTA senior ranking as well.

Challenging the Kiwis will be a number of highly rated players such as India’s Sania Mirza who currently stands at 67 in the world along with former top-20 player Tamarine Tanasugarn from Thailand and another former top-20 player in the form of Uzbekistan’s Iroda Tulyaganova.

“Canterbury Tennis has been looking for a way to showcase the brilliant young women players who are starting to come through in New Zealand and we see the BNP Paribas Fed Cup Asia/Oceania competition as the perfect vehicle.

“Marina Erakovic will possibly be in the world’s top 100 by then and Canterbury’s Ellen Barry, who has gone from no WTA ranking to just over 600 in three months, could be well under 500. To have Ellen and Marina plus maybe five or six players in the world’s top 100 should be a huge boost for the profile of women’s tennis in New Zealand,” said David Blackwell the CEO of Canterbury Tennis.

The impact for Christchurch is set to be very valuable with each team generally bringing several management and coaching staff along with a number of foreign media set to spend time in the city.

The full list of nations entered at present are China Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taipei, Thailand, Uzbekistan and New Zealand putting the host nation firmly in the spotlight in the Asia and Central Asia region.

“Tennis New Zealand is very excited to have been awarded an event as prestigious as the Fed Cup for 2007. Our female players have had an exceptional year on the circuit and to be able to have them play at home in the Fed Cup competition is tremendous chance for the public to see some real talent,” said Tennis NZ CEO Don Turner.

The last time the Fed Cup was held in NZ was in Wellington in 1995.

The BNP Paribas Fed Cup Asia/Oceania competition will be held at the Scenic Circle Hotels Tennis Centre at Wilding Park, Christchurch starting the week of April 16.

Ends

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