Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Tennis Tourney To Continue To Scintillate Kiwis

Tennis Tourney To Continue To Scintillate Kiwis

By Syed Akbar Kamal

New logo of
Auckland City Council, with Starbursts.After the botched up controversy surrounding new logo of Auckland City Council settled down, the make-over version of three starbursts with the 'dreaded' triangle has made its first appearance at the ASB Classic, country's professional women's tennis event.

The makeover version of starbursts forms a part of a trio of logos reached as part of a deal between the council and Triangle Television bounding Auckland City Council to use it in the domain of events.

While relegating the council as the lone entity in the country assuming the unenviable grade of having to do with a threesome, the council earns the distinction of being associated with a phenomenal 2,350 events in one calendar year.

For the first time in 16 years since 1991, three kiwis Marina Erakovic, Sacha Jones and Ellen Barry will grace the premier tournament, first instituted in December 1985. The Women's tourney will begin today with the finals slated for Saturday January 5th.

The tournament director Richard Palmer was all smiles at the 'meet the seeds' articulating the feast in store for tennis lovers at the event seen as a precursor to the Australian Open that begins two weeks after its conclusion.

Mr. Palmer beamed "we have the new blue look on the courts" with the rubberized Rebound Ace. While terming each year's tournament as "different from some perspectives" he expressed his happiness at the steady rise in crowds over the years and especially the response "has been good even for the qualifiers'".

This year's event has seen 23 direct entries with no top20 ranked players gracing the courts.

Highlighting the achievements of Lindsay Davenport he reeled off "she is the best performing player ever to come to New Zealand; former world no1, 53 singles title with 3 Grand Slams, 37 doubles titles with 3 Grand Slams. We are delighted to have her here."

When asked about the looming threat to the tournament coming under pressure regarding Prize money Mr. Palmer disclosed that "the extra $80,000 have been raised which we need to have and we have found the backer to fund being a part of the tour. We had to buy a franchise which costs US$450,000. That's been taken care of. So, ASB Classic will exist post 2008 which is fantastic news."

When asked to elaborate further, he said "With WTA restructuring the tournament from a current tier4 to 2tier system with two series; series A and series B. And with series B you have to buy the franchise and we have been asked if we want to be a part of the tour, we do; we have found the finance that we need. So we will be a part of the tour and its great news."

To a question whether the tournament has motivated enough youngsters in the country to take up tennis as a career path, he observed "it's very hard to say" and urged Marina, Sacha and Ellen to "kick in hard and move up the ranking to motivate and inspire others to take up the sport in a big way."

Last year's winner Jelena Jankovic of Serbia who defeated this year's top seed Russian Vera Zvonereva is not eligible to cast her charm in the city of sails for having attained ranking inside the threshold of top 10.

With the current rules under which the tournament operates, the top10 ranked players are barred from taking part. This however will change from 2009 "with ASB Classic as part of the new landscape, we will have the possibility of getting even those players," said Mr. Palmer expressing his optimism.

The mesmerizing job has been delegated to 31 year old American Lindsay Davenport who has become the cynosure of all eyes with her seven month baby in tow. The no: 72 ranked versatile player comes to Auckland after sounding a warning to her opponents with two title facile wins from three outings.

Lindsay will be a tough nut to crack with three-time Grand Slam credentials, US Open 1998, Wimbledon 1999 and the Australian Open 2000, making her the first player in the history of the event to have ever been ranked No1 in the world. She held the top position for a phenomenal 54 weeks.

The Californian took a 7 month break to have a baby Jagger who was born on June 10th this year. This represented a slide in her ranking which has since been on a rising note ever since her return to the circuit.

The American is expected to cause avoidable hat-trick of sorts for Vera Zvonereva who has lost the finals since 2006.

The flamboyant Marion Bartoli won the finals packing the Russian in straight sets 6-2 6-2. The following year she lost to Jelena Jankovic in what is billed as one of the tantalizing finals seen in recent times in three pulsating sets 7-6(9) 5-7 6-3.

Zvonereva while acknowledging that "Lindsay is a great player and a legend" she said that she is determined to give her best and enjoy herself "no matter who is out there on the court whether Lindsay or anybody else".


Syed Akbar Kamal is Producer/Director of current affairs programme Darpan-The Mirror on Stratos.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news