Written by John Williams
From the 1st - 4th December, the West End Lawn Tennis Club, down at Cox’s Bay, hosted their largest ever tournament, with the help of Ray White Damerell Group, amongst others. Local and international players vied for a prize pool of $15,000, and the finals were televised live on Sky Sport for national viewers to enjoy for the first time.
Held over three days, large crowds from the local community enjoyed some amazing tennis, either from the comfort of corporate hospitality at catered court side tables, or sitting on the grassy bank and grandstand. The event was free to view for the public and had a real family friendly feel, with the Under-16 boy’s and girl’s tournaments, and a Kids Zone for the younger children.
This is the second year that Ray White Damerell Group has been involved with the tournament, which is aligned with Tennis Auckland, and is described as the “Queens Club Championships” to the ASB Classic, the international event held at the TSB Arena every January.
Gower Buchanan, Director at Ray White Damerell Group, says it is a fantastic event to be a part of, and it’s great to be able to support the West End Lawn Tennis Club and help the tournament grow, and also to encourage young and up-and-coming local tennis players. "The club has done a great job of attracting a high calibre field of competitors this year. Getting on Sky TV was icing on the cake,”
“Ray White Ponsonby is always looking to find ways to put back into the community we work in. And this event is perfect for us."
Australian professional tennis player, John-Patrick Smith won the Men’s Final Trophy at the Wither Hills West End Cup on Sunday. The 24-year-old, ranked 231 in the world, beat compatriot 24-year-old Matt Barton 6-4, 6-4 after fierce competition in earlier rounds. In his post-match interview Smith said that the Wither Hills West End Cup is a good tournament to play in as a build up to the Australian Open.
Top local seed and Wither Hills West End Cup Ambassador, Finn Tearney, bowed out in the semis, after getting beaten by runner-up Matt Barton 6-0, 6-4.
In the Women’s Singles, Israeli professional Julia Glushko, ranked 186 in the world circuit, took the Women’s Title over 22-year-old Australian Masa Jovanovic in a tough match 6-2, 6-1. Glushko commented that the Wither Hills West End Cup is one of the best club tournaments she has ever played in.
Founded in 1928, the West End Lawn Tennis Club is one of the largest tennis clubs in Auckland, with over 450 members ranging from children to senior citizens. The clubhouse went through major renovations in 2016 and now has a modern new facility overlooking six astro-turf courts.