Kiwi tennis remains in the shadows in 2012

16:00, Dec 28 2012
ASB Classic 2012
Number two seed Shuai Peng meets the press prior to the 2012 ASB Classic.
ASB Classic 2012
Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges meet the press prior to the 2012 ASB Classic.
ASB Classic 2012
Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges meet the press prior to the 2012 ASB Classic.
ASB Classic 2012
Angelique Kerber from Germany stretches to return a shot from Marina Erakovic from NZ on the second day of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
ASB Classic 2012
New Zealand's Marina Erakovic in action during her match against Angelique Kerber from Germany on the second day of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
ASB Classic 2012
Greta Arn from Hungary returns a shot to Julia Goerges from Germany on the second day of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
ASB Classic 2012
Julia Goerges from Germany plays a shot against Greta Arn from Hungary in the second day of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
ASB Classic 2012
Elena Baltacha in action against Flavia Pennetta in the preliminary rounds of the women's ASB Classic tennis in Auckland.
ASB Classic 2012
Fans wait as rain postpones the match between Sabine Lisicki and Mona Marthel.
ASB Classic 2012
Sabine Lisicki takes on Mona Marthel in the preliminary rounds of the women's ASB Classic tennis in Auckland.
ASB Classic 2012
New Zealand's Emily Fanning plays doubles alongside Russian Regina Kulikova in the preliminary rounds of the women's ASB Classic tennis in Auckland.
ASB Classic 2012
Jie Zheng takes on Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi finals.
ASB Classic 2012
Angelique Kerber takes on Flavia Pennetta in the semifinals.
ASB Classic 2012
Sabine Lisicki called it a day midway through the second set citing injury against Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals.
ASB Classic 2012
Andrea Hlavakova and Lucie Hradecka hold the doubles trophy after beating Juila Goerges and Flavia Pennetta.
ASB Classic 2012
Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova during their doubles match against Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.
ASB Classic 2012
Svetlana Kuznetsova takes on Jie Zheng in the semifinals of the women's ASB Classic.

This was another year where tennis only really existed in this country for a fortnight.

The annual ASB Classic and Heineken Open look like they might be nice to watch from the hospitality tables, but they might as well be played on Mars for all the impact New Zealand players have on them. At least in an on-court sense.

Off it, Sacha Jones created the only real tennis news story of 2012, by declaring the Classic would be the last time she played tennis as a New Zealander.

She'd instead make use of having an Australian parent and passport and play as an Aussie, once her run at the Classic ended.

Having been awarded a wildcard into the main draw, courtesy of that New Zealand-ness, the then Kiwi No 2 promptly lost to Britain's Elena Baltacha in the first round and was condemned from here to Kingdom Come.

The first week of January is a slow one for news and rather than anonymously slipping away to her next tournament, in Hobart, the 22-year-old Jones left with her ears ringing to the tune of an outraged talkback nation.

It was all a bit unnecessary, but the saddest part is that it was the only time all year when anyone gave a hoot about a New Zealand tennis player. For the record, Jones will finish 2012 with a career-high singles ranking of 150.

Marina Erakovic plugged away, quietly achieving career-best rankings as well. The 24-year-old is now 66th in singles and 53rd in doubles, but reached 39 and 42 earlier in the year.

It was all out-of-sight, out-of-mind though and Erakovic again failed to make any impression at the Grand Slam events lay people tend to follow.

Mind you, her ranking and achievements look positively amazing when judged against our best men's players. In case you didn't know, Rubin Statham is this country's top-ranked player, at 358 in the world.

It was another humbling year for the Davis Cup team, too, with losses to Uzbekistan, India and Chinese-Taipei condemning New Zealand to Group II of the Asia/Oceania zone.

Their reward is a trip to Beirut, where they'll meet Lebanon in a February 1-3 tie. Survive that and the team can look forward to playing Pakistan in Pakistan.

At junior level, there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of talent coming through, with just Cameron Norrie and Emily Fanning ranked inside the world's top-100. 

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Artem Sitak
New Zealand's Artem Sitak takes on Adrian Mannarino of France in the preliminary rounds of the men's Heineken Open in Auckland on day one.
Artem Sitak, Adrian Mannarino
Artem Sitak congratulates France's Adrian Mannarino on the win on day one of the Heineken Open in Auckland.
Donald Young
USA's Donald Young, pictured, takes on Alejandro Falla in the preliminary rounds of the men's Heineken Open in Auckland on day one.
Alejandro Falla
Alejandro Falla of Columbia receives medical attention on day one of the Heineken Open in Auckland.
Donald Young
Donald Young of the USA in action on day one of the Heineken Open in Auckland.
Daniel King-Turner
New Zealander Daniel King-Turner takes on Javier Marti from Spain in the qualifiers for the men's Heineken Open.
Daniel King-Turner
New Zealander Daniel King-Turner takes on Javier Marti from Spain in the qualifiers for the men's Heineken Open.
Javier Marti
Javier Marti from Spain takes on New Zealander Daniel King-Turner in the qualifiers for the men's Heineken Open.
Javier Marti
Javier Marti from Spain takes on New Zealander Daniel King-Turner in the qualifiers for the men's Heineken Open.
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New Zealander Daniel King-Turner grimaces during his match against Javier Marti of Spain in the qualifiers for the men's Heineken Open.
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Rubin Statham plays in the qualifiers for the men's Heineken Open in Auckland.
Rubin Statham
New Zealander Artem Sitak during the preliminary rounds of the men's Heineken Open in Auckland.
Artem Sitak
Adrian Mannarino of France faces off against New Zealand's own Artem Sitak in the preliminary rounds of the men's Heineken Open in Auckland.
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New Zealand's Michael Venus during his first round singles match at the 2012 Heineken Open in Auckland.
Michael Venus
Columbia's Santiago Giraldo takes on New Zealand's Michael Venus during a first round singles match at the 2012 Heineken Open in Auckland.
Michael Venus
New Zealand's Michael Venus rests between sets during his first round singles match at the 2012 Heineken Open in Auckland.
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New Zealand's Michael Venus during his first round singles match at the 2012 Heineken Open in Auckland.
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New Zealand's Michael Venus during his first round singles match against Columbia's Santiago Giraldo at the 2012 Heineken Open in Auckland.
Michael Venus
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya during their doubles match against David Ferrer and Albert Montanes at the Heineken Tennis Open in Auckland.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya during their doubles match against David Ferrerr and Albert Montanes at the Heineken Tennis Open in Auckland.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya during their doubles match against David Ferrer and Albert Montanes at the Heineken Tennis Open in Auckland.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
General view of centre court at sunset during the evening session at the Heineken Tennis Open Day 2.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
Stephane Bohli serves during his match against Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
Philipp Kohlschreiber serves during his match against Stephane Bohli.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
USA's Ryan Harrison in action during his first round singles match.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
Lukas Rosol during his first round singles match.
Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya
Doubles pair of Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Fernando Verdasco of Spain.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer of Spain at the Heineken Tennis Open day two.
Philipp Kohlschrieber
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in action during his Heineken Open day three second round match against Ryan Harrison of the USA.
Philipp Kohlschreiber
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in action during his Heineken Open day three tennis second round match against Ryan Harrison of the USA.
Ryan Harrison Tennis Player
Ryan Harrison of the USA in action during his Heineken Open day three tennis second round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
Heineken Open
Nicolas Almagro of Spain disputes a call during his second round match against Santiago Giraldo.
Heineken Open
Nicolas Almagro of Spain plays a shot during his second round match against Santiago Giraldo.
Heineken Open
Santiago Giraldo plays a shot during his second round match against Nicolas Almagro.
Heineken Open
Lukas Rosol in action against David Ferrer of Spain.
Heineken Open
David Ferrer of Spain in action against Lukas Rosol.
Heineken Open
Lukas Rosol in action against David Ferrer of Spain.
Heineken Open
David Ferrer of Spain in action against Lukas Rosol.
Heineken Open
Fernando Verdasco during his match against Carlos Berlocq at the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open
Benoit Paire slips returning a shot during his quarterfinal match against Olivier Rochus.
Heineken Open
Olivier Rochus plays the ball between his legs during his quarterfinal match against Benoit Paire.
Heineken Open
Ball kids dry the court at the Heineken Open on day 4.
Heineken Open
Philipp Kohlschreiber in action against Nicolas Almagro in their quarterfinal.
Heineken Open
Spain's David Ferrer celebrates his semifinal singles victory at the 2012 Heineken Open.
Heineken Open
New Zealand doubles pair Dan King Turner and Michael Venus during their quarterfinal doubles victory.
Heineken Open
Belgium's Olivier Rochus celebrates winning his semifinal singles match at the Heineken Open.
Heineken Open
Doubles champions Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya of Austria.

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