Kiwi tennis remains in the shadows in 2012

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

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

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