TENNIS: Parun heads for Germany - by Dave Worsley
At a time when New Zealand Tennis needs all its talented
coaches, a couple of passing shots have left it grasping.
Wellington regional coach Tony Parun, a former Kiwi Davis Cup squad member and brother of New Zealand tennis legend Onny Parun, is to leave the capital to return to a big challenge in Germany.
Fifty-year-old Parun, a former New Zealand junior champion, is set to use his coaching skills to help his two sons, fast-rising players on the ATP Tour.
Unfortunately his sons Anthony
and Bernhard won't be representing New
Zealand, but rather the German Tennis Federation. Both were born and bred in Germany, with Bernhard going through the German coaching system. He has always been among the federation's top three or four juniors.
Bernhard (20) and Anthony (22) asked if
Tony would help them
kickstart their professional careers.
This comes hard on the heels of 14-year-old tennis wizzkid Ivana Jovanovich, the New Zealand 14s and 16s age group champion, who moved to Melbourne last month to further her tennis career and for better work prospects for her parents.
Jovanovich was one of the youngest players in the Australian Open Junior event, qualifying for the main draw and winning through to the second round.
The former Auckland player has already been asked to take part in training with the Victoria Institute of Sport tennis squad. The good news is Jovanovich cannot play for Australia for two years, as she has represented New Zealand in team age group championships.
Kiwi Federation Cup captain Mark
Lewis is keen to keep an eye on
Jovanovich's progress and watch her international junior results carefully.
Parun was the regional coach in Wellington for just over two years and is leaving on a good note, aware that this is an opportunity to help his sons and that more New Zealand tennis associations are allowing for players such as himself and brother Onny, plus Mark and Chris Lewis to help Kiwi tennis.
"I am leaving because I have had a great time here and enjoyed the job and I think we have made giant steps but my sons have asked me and I want to try and help give them more direction with their careers. The boys are just sizing up the options at the moment," says Parun.
Bernhard recently beat top-100 player Peter Wessels and together with his brother, plays in the second division of the Bundesliga in Germany. The first division can see team budgets of around US$1 million.
On the positive side, New Zealand has a number of talented tennis coaches. Currently there are Kiwi coaches around the world making an impact on the tennis scene, including some who have shown an inclination to return to New Zealand.
The third of the
Lewis brothers David is working with the Swiss Tennis
Federation, Paul Smith is highly regarded as a coach in Kansas, Ian
Crookenden is in the United States Midwest and Troy Turnball is in Germany.