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New Zealand Davis Cup
representative Artem Sitak is into
the second round of the Australian
Open following a convincing doubles
victory, yesterday afternoon.
Sitak and partner Benjamin Becker
combined well to beat Gilles Muller
and Igor Sijsling 6-3 6-4 in sizzling
conditions at Melbourne Park.
It was an impressive performance
from the New Zealand-German duo,
who did not have their ser ves broken
once throughout the entire match.
Becker in particular was rock solid
from the ser vice line while Sitak was
prominent in his return game.
It is a creditable victory against
tough opponents. Sijsling is a former
Australian Open doubles finalist and
Muller hits one of the heavier balls on
the ATP tour.
It also continues the momentum,
step by step, in New Zealand men’s
tennis in the doubles arena.
Sitak won an ATP doubles title in
Stuttgart last year and Michael Venus
reached the third round in two grand
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
Sitak progresses in doubles
Blues wing George Moala will return
to training with the team, the Blues have
Moala was last week found guilty of
wounding with intent over a late night fight
two years ago.
Blues chief executive Michael Redman
said an internal misconduct process had been
open since the incident and, with the court
still to impose sentencing on Moala, the final
outcome of that process would be delayed until
“The public would expect us to be even-
handed with this, to be a good employer, to
take the matter seriously, and obviously we
have,” said Blues chief executive Michael
Redman. “ We don’t have any tolerance
for any offending but, at the same time, we
have to follow due process and in this case
the timing of the process is out of our
“The sentencing is set for May 1 and we’ ll deal
with it then. There is an internal misconduct
process that has been open since the incident,
and the advice is that it is not appropriate for
us to conclude that until we know the outcome
Moala’s bail conditions allowed him to fulfil
all obligations as a professional rugby player,
including travel, and he remained available for
“ He’s been training through the process,” said
Blues coach John Kirwan. “ We’re confident
that he’ ll be ready to train and play again as
early as Friday.
“ We’re expecting him to come in and we’ ll
just take everyone’s physical and mental ability
to play, and George won’t be different to
The Blues’ decision followed detailed
consultation with New Zealand Rugby,
the New Zealand Rugby Players’
Association, key stakeholders and Moala’s
“George, since the incident two years ago,
has been outstanding in our environment,”
Redman said. “ We are satisfied with the way
George has conducted himself over the last
two years. The verdict doesn’t change that for
us. The sentencing may and we’ ll deal with
Moala and his brother Siua had been accused
of assaulting two men, Clifford Matoka and
Damian Leota, during a vicious bar fight in
Auckland in December 2012.
The brawl, which erupted in a small bar on
Karangahape Road and spilled out onto the
street, left one man in hospital and several
After five hours of deliberation on Friday,
an Auckland District Court jury found Moala
guilty of assaulting Mr Matoka with intent to
injure him, but not guilty on two other charges
— of assaulting Mr Leota with intent to injure
him and of common assault on Mr Matoka.
They found his brother not guilty on all three
of the same charges.
— NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
Moala returns to Blues training
PICTURE: Getty Images
Artem Sitak, left, and Benjamin Becker during their first round match in
Marina Erakovic’s Australian Open
campaign has come to an end, after a
first round loss in the doubles last night.
Erakovic and Monica Puig were
defeated 6-7 (9) 7-6 (6) 6-3 by Michaella
Krajicek and Barbora Zahlavova
Strycova in an epic battle that lasted for
more than two and a half hours.
It was played out in front of a vocal
crowd on court 10, in sizzling Melbourne
conditions and it was a match that
Erakovic and Puig probably should not
They broke early in each set but could
not consolidate, letting their opponents
back into the contest.
But they had the momentum
throughout and had chances in the
second set tie break to seal the result.
The third set was particularly galling
for the New Zealand-Central American
They first gave up a 2-0 lead then later
had Krajicek at 0-40 in successive ser vice
games but were unable to convert any of
the break point opportunities.
Erakovic did well to save a match point
on her ser vice game at 2-5 in the final
set before Krajicek ser ved out the match.
The result — and manner of the
performance — is a set back for the new
They have good chemistry on court
but the Puerto Rican’s all out attacking
approach can be costly in the doubles
form of the game.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Erakovic knocked out of doubles
Cobden bowler Ethan Kelleher was today
rewarded for a good performance at the recent New
Zealand Bowls Championships with a place in the
South Island team.
The 20-year-old, who plays for the Cobden
Bowling Club, received notification of his selection
Kelleher’s father, Nigeal, said Ethan thought he
had missed the cut.
“He’s pretty rapt with today ’s news.”
His selection in the South Island team is a
stepping stone to gaining New Zealand honours.
Kelleher previously played in the national under-18
At the New Zealand Championships in Auckland
recently, Kelleher finished in the top eight in the
Today ’s selection is part of the Bowls New
Zealand high performance programme.
The South Island team will compete against their
North Island counterparts on February 21-22, in
The full South Island team is: Craig Merrilees,
Sheldon Bagrie-Howley, Ethan Kelleher, Mitchell
Will, Elliot Mason, Oliver Mason, Callum Horwell,
Jonty Horwell, Keanu Darby and Liam Eathorne.
in South Island
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