Hunt leads Elmwood to title win

SAM SHERWOOD
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2013

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Former Davis Cup star Alistair Hunt signed off his senior career by helping Elmwood pull off an impressive interclub tennis championship "double-double".

Elmwood's men's final against Cashmere went down to the last set of scheduled matches, with former tour professional Hunt beating Matt Meredith 6-7 6-3 6-4 at the Cashmere club on Saturday.

It was an entertaining match, with Meredith taking the first set in a hotly contested tiebreaker. Hunt was quick to reply with a break of serve early in the second set.

A win in the third set would seal the championship. In the ninth game, Hunt broke Meredith's serve to make it 5-4, leaving Hunt to serve for the championship.

Hunt calmly served out the match and ensured victory for Elmwood.

Hunt, playing in his last competitive match, said the crowd deserved an entertaining final. "The crowd was great, it was good to have a tight, competitive match and put on a show for the fans."

The 40-year-old said he was happy with his form during the championship, but admitted his body had felt the impact of the game more as he got older.

He hailed the contributions of some of the younger players, including Elliot Darling, as pivotal to Elmwood's success.

"We have a talented group of younger players who came out and performed."

The finals started off with a doubles victory for Elmwood - Hunt and Andrew Cochrane beat the Meredith brothers, Matt and Tim, 6-3 6-2.

After the first round of singles, Cashmere was set to win the championship until Darling and Hunt pulled off consecutive wins to secure the title for Elmwood.

The women's final between Elmwood and Burnside Park had the same result as the men's, with the championship not decided until the last match. Spectators were treated to some great tennis with Joelene Feneon and Ruth Seeman beating Dianne Hollands and Lauren Tyler-Harwood 1-6 7-6 10-6.

Elmwood fought back thanks to Hollands, who beat Feneon 6-0 6-2 and ended the tournament having only lost 10 games in her singles matches over the whole competition.

Burnside Park had the upper hand, going up 3-2 after consecutive victories from Georgia Hume and Sian English. Elmwood, however, had other plans with Annabel Ellis beating Ruth Seeman 6-3 7-6 to give them a seven to six sets victory over Burnside Park to secure the interclub championship "double-double".

Elmwood will try to build on the success of their younger players for next season as they try to retain their title without Hunt.

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- The Nelson Mail

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