Cook Islands tennis gets off to a winning start

Thursday January 11, 2018 Written by Published in Other Sports
Tennis Cook Islands head coach Malcolm Kajer has an exciting development plans for this year. 18011015 Tennis Cook Islands head coach Malcolm Kajer has an exciting development plans for this year. 18011015

Tennis Cook Islands got off to a perfect start to their 2018 season with youngster Jesse “Bumble” Toa achieving a Pacific first in an event in Melbourne, Australia this week.

 

Toa won the boys 12 and under consolation singles title on grass court in the Margaret Court Cup.

Toa competed in the tournament in Albury with Moana Une.

National tennis head coach Malcolm Kajer said Toa was the first in the region to achieve this feat in the age group.

“It is a tough competition out there and to win this on grass court is huge given it hasn’t been achieved by any 12 year old in the region,” Kajer said.

“He always had a game which suited grass with his big serve and powerful fore hand.”

The duo will this week compete in the 2018 Victorian Junior Championships at Wodonga Tennis Centre in Victoria, Australia.

Kajer said following this tournament, they will spend a few days at the Australian Open to watch the top players compete.

The Australian Open which will end later this month will have the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic competing in the men’s singles while Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki in the women’s.

“There is no doubt that being at the Australian Open to watch top in the world would motivate Moana and Jesse to achieve their goals in tennis. This will be their first time at the Australian Open.”

Later next week, top junior player Maka Maui will travel to Christchurch, New Zealand, to join the Pacific Oceania 12 and under team. The side will compete in the 12U New Zealand Nationals.

“There is an East Pacific Qualifying event in Samoa and also an April/May tournament in Auckland where we would like to get a team prepared as early as possible to be able to achieve the best results,” Kajer said.

Last year proved a successful year for the development of tennis in the country, Kajer said.

He said they managed a good start with Toa and Maui performing well at the New Zealand Nationals and the national boys and girls 12 and under teams winning the West Pacific Qualifying event.

The national boys’ team also managed to win the Oceania Junior Championship in Fiji with the girls finishing second.

Kajer said they also had a few players selected for the Pacific Junior team to represent the region in Australia.

“The year finished off on a high with an excellent achievement by the development team in the Auckland Xmas Junior Tournament where Teakaiti Toa won the U12 girls doubles and finished third in the main singles draw.”

Meanwhile Kajer will start the school holiday clinic from Monday next week until Friday at the National Tennis Court in search for more junior players.

The clinic which will run from 9am to 12 noon will be for participants aged five to 13 years old. It will involve introductory lessons as well as advanced coaching. For enrolment and enquiries, contact Kajer on 75614.

“I would like to thank our travelling team sponsors Bluesky and ANZ Bank who has also helped us in the primary schools programme which will start in term one of 2018. We also thank Tennis Cook Islands and all the supporting parents throughout 2017.”

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