Younger tennis players given another option

MTA president Lindsay Parkinson said the age eligibility was changed through public demand. File photo.

Expect to see some fresher, younger faces in this season’s popular President’s Grade tennis competition.

In a bold move by the Marlborough Tennis Association, this season the age of participants is dropped from 35 to 19, opening the door for younger blood in what has been traditionally an event for the more senior players.

Competitors must be 19 or older on October 1, 2019 to qualify for the competition. Play in the WK+ Advisors and Accountants president’s grade begins on Tuesday, October 15.

MTA president Lindsay Parkinson said the age eligibility was changed through public demand.

“Other than the premier competition, the association didn’t have a team competition for those aged 19 to 35. Thus, an average, fairly social player would have few options until he or she reached 35 years.

“The Marlborough Tennis Club’s leagues, which run in winter and summer, are open to all ages but it is an individual competition and not a team competition – and this is not interclub.

“We are hoping that by lowering the age restriction it will boost [president’s grade] division four in particular and bring more people back to the game.”

There is also change to the local premier competition, scheduled to be played on Wednesdays.

Unlike previous years the Wine Brokers New Zealand premier competition will run until Christmas – four teams (two from Rapaura, one from Marlborough and one from Renwick) will compete over three rounds, concluding with a finals night on December 11.

After Christmas there will be a competitive Super Series competition which will be open to teams of two players and will not be club-based – there is expected to be two divisions.

This competition will conclude in early March and will also be played on Wednesday evenings.

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