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Wilson Marks Park Open hits the courts

The annual tennis competition saw a record number of entrants participate and it did not disappoint.

Designed to provide much-needed competitive tennis for local players, the Wilson Marks Park Open yet again proved why it’s among the best tennis competitions in our community.

The tournament, which this year saw Gauteng’s Kim Peters defeat Ane Dannhauser 6/2 6/2 in the women’s singles event and also had Oliver Naudé beat Matthew Harris 7/5 7/6, has been on the tennis calendar since 1981. Thanks to its sponsor, Wilson, the winning pot was a total of R24 000 which was then divided across all the events.

Its organiser, Lynda Johnson, said such tournaments are important as through them, players are given the opportunity to pit themselves against a variety of opponents in their respective age groups while gaining match experience, enjoy competitive tennis and improve on their national rankings. Coupled with this, such competitions help improve the profile of the sport of tennis which she hopes increases the number of people playing the sport across all clubs in the country.

Tennis players compete in the doubles event. Photo: Supplied

The competition had 278 entrants not only from Gauteng but as far afield as the Northwest Province, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Northern Cape. To accommodate all theses players, four venues were used: Marks Park, Ellis Park, Hoërskool Linden and Fairland Tennis Club.
When taking into consideration the high volumes of entrants this year, Johnson thought it showed just how enthusiastic and keen tennis players are to improve their play rankings. ” Our tournament has a reputation of being well-organised and so people enjoy playing and return year after year, hopefully spreading the word.”

Matthew Harris and Oliver Naudé participate in the Wilson Marks Park Open. Photo: Supplied

Age groups that competed were U12, U14, U16 and Open (U18 and adults). There was also a fair number of senior players who entered. “In fact, Kim Peters is currently ranked number two in the 35+ age group,” added Johnson.

Johnson concluded by saying that a good tennis player, in addition to having the natural athletic ability, needs to be hardworking and dedicated. “It takes hours and hours of coaching and practice to hone one’s technique and develop the level of fitness, concentration and ability to make a champion.”

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