Experience counts in title victory

Experience triumphed over youth when Neil Sonne claimed the singles title in the Marlborough Tennis Club's Senior Men's Championships held at the Forrest Winery Marlborough Tennis Centre over the weekend.

After defeating Brendon Sutherland in the semifinals, Sonne easily accounted for 14-year-old premier interclub team-mate Lee Harborne 6-1 6-0 in the final to take his first ever singles club championship crown. Harborne overcame fellow youngster Andrew Forgesson in the other semifinal.

In the men's doubles, experience was again to the fore as Kent Register and Phil Sowman lifted the title. Up against the younger pairing of Sutherland and Peter Rogge in the final, Register and Sowman played clever, tactical tennis to secure a 6-3 6-2 win. The victory saw Register record his fifth club doubles crown, after first winning with Rob Lewes in the 1993-94 season, while for Sowman it was the first time he had won a club title.

Due to lack of entries, the women's competition was deferred to later in the season.

Meanwhile, the other end of the tennis spectrum takes centre stage at Pollard Park on Friday with the Marlborough Primary Schools tournament attracting 63 players.

The extra incentive for the finalists in the open boys' and girls' event is that they will become Marlborough's representatives for the South Island finals, also to be held in Blenheim on November 26-27. An official Tennis New Zealand event, the South Island finals attracts the top 16 boys and girls, who qualify through regional tournaments.

This year a new national championship for the North and South Island finalists will be held during the New Zealand Championships in Auckland just before Christmas.

Play in the Marlborough tournament starts at 9am on Friday.

The Marlborough Express