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Both New Zealanders taking part in
the men’s ASB Classic singles event
have exited in the first round after
pushing their opponents to the wire.
Finn Tearney and doubles expert
Michael Venus both hit centre court
yesterday, performing admirably but
going down to Robin Haase and
Feliciano Lopez respectively.
Ranked 447th in the world, the
26-year-old Tearney twice wasted a
3-0 set lead against Dutch veteran
Haase to go down 6-4, 7-5 in the early
Venus, 32nd in the world in doubles,
subsequently went up a set against
Lopez but then gave the sixth seed
two key avenues back into the match,
falling 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 .
The match ultimately went the world
No 28’s way as Venus struggled in
the second and third sets on return of
Both Venus and Tearney will take
heart from their displays, showing an
on-court aggressiveness and match
intelligence beyond their singles
Only one Kiwi, Venus himself, has
won a Classic men’s singles
match since 2003.
“In the big moments I missed
a few and he also played some
good points,” Tearney said.
“I’m really trying to press
forward and put pressure on
guys. It doesn’t work all the time
but that ’s the way I see myself
going for ward.”
Venus, who rarely plays singles
outside of the Classic, will
likely join Tearney as a Kiwi
representative in next month’s
Davis Cup tie in India.
If so, he will again play singles,
but may not other wise do so for
“I’d love to play a lot more, but I
don’t know,” the 29-year old said. “It’s
a little sad I guess because I’d love
to be out there playing, but it’s how
things have played out with doubles.”
Elsewhere, seventh-seeded American
Steve Johnson qualified for the
second-round with a straightfor ward
6-4, 6-3 win over Stephane Robert.
The 27-year-old, ranked 33rd in the
world, proved too powerful for his
French opponent, who struggled with
his serve and made six double faults.
Czech 2015 champion Jiri Vesely
outclassed Argentinian Horacio
Zeballos 6-4, 6-3 while Tunisian
Malek Jaziri defeated another
Argentinian in Diego Schwartzman.
In the final match of the day,
wildcard Dustin Brown pulled out
every trick in his arsenal on the way
to a 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4 win over
American qualifier Michael Mmoh.
Showing his penchant for Youtube-
ready hot shots, Brown slammed,
sliced and lobbed his way to an
eventual victory but frustrated with
too many unforced errors. — N ZN
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
PRIMARY SCHOOL CRICKET
PRIMARY SCHOOL CRICKET
The West Coast boys’ primary school
cricket team’s campaign at the South
Island tournament got off to a rocky
start at Geraldine yesterday.
West Coast was comprehensively
beaten by an innings and 127 runs at
the hands of Christchurch Black, one
of two teams from the garden city.
It was a combination of inexperience
on the part of the Coast boys and
consistent bowling by the Cantabrians
that led to the one-sided result.
At the start of the match West
Coast looked competitive. After losing
the toss and being put in to bat, the
Christchurch side got off to a slow
Jack Goodin and Matthew Robbins
led the Coast attack with some fiery
bowling tying down the Christchurch
batsmen. Just as Christchurch Black
looked to take control spinner Lachie
Busche enticed Charlie Swan out of
his crease and Jack Kennedy effected
a sharp stumping. Wickets continued
to fall at regular inter vals, halting the
progress of the city boys. After the
lunch break the Christchurch batsmen
looked to quicken their scoring,
creating more opportunities for West
Coast to take wickets.
Unfortunately, the Coast fieldsmen
could not capitalise and Christchurch
declared at 193 for 6.
West Coast ’s innings got off to a
flying start with eight runs off the first
over. Unhappily, this was to be the high
point of their batting performance.
Coast wickets fell all too regularly and
they were all out for 41.
Christchurch forced the follow-on
and things then went from bad to
worse for the West Coast batsmen.
Wickets fell at regular inter vals and
they were quickly removed for 25.
Coach Wayne Robbins was
disappointed by his side’s performance.
“ We always knew that this was going
to be a tough game, probably the
toughest game we will have this week,”
“I was pleased by our fielding
performance but our batting really let
us down. We just didn’t handle the
pressure well. There were a number of
loose shots that just didn’t need to be
played and the three run outs were all
“In saying that, I was extremely
impressed with the efforts of some of
our less experienced batsmen. Ollie
Robb showed grit and determination
to bat for almost an hour and remain
unbeaten at the end of the innings.”
Robbins said they would put that
game behind them and prepare for
today ’s match against Buller.
First innings: Christchurch Black
193/6 dec (S Harris 53, J Goodin
Second innings: West Coast 41 all
out (R O’Loughlin 2-2, H Forrest
Third innings: West Coast 25 all out
( J White 3-10).
drivers Brandon Parkinson,
Steve Thompson and Atama
Holland raced at Woodford
Glen on Sunday in the New
Zealand Modified Grand Prix.
The competition followed on
from the NZ Modified held at
Greymouth’s Greenstone Park
a week earlier.
competed at Woodford
Glen, including leading
North Island entries, and top
Greymouth drivers Parkinson
and Thompson were there to
prove a point.
The competition was run
over two heats and a pole
shuffle, with Parkinson
winning all three to put him
in the front row for the 20-lap
Thompson finished fifth
on points so decided to
take his fifth position on
the high line of what was a
challenging track. Racing
was very competitive and no
quarter was given, Parkinson
eventually taking second place
behind Haydon McKay, with
Brad Lane from Auckland in
Thompson spun out on a
turn which saw him drift
back through the field before
picking up a couple of places.
The next South Island
meeting will also be at
Woodford Glen, on January
PICTURE: John Whitcombe
Matthew Robbins finds the outside edge of Mitchell McMillan’s bat.
West Coast falls to Christchurch Black
Brandon Parkinson, left, second at the NZ Modified Grand
Prix, at Woodford Glen on Sunday.
Parkinson finishes second
at Woodford Glen
The Westland Racing Club is set
for a big day of racing at Hokitika
tomorrow, with good fields carded
on the nine-race programme.
Run as part of the Interislander
Summer Festival of Racing
promotion, there will be plenty of
entertainment for young and old.
Club president Gray Eatwell says
the track and facility is ready and
waiting for the third day of the
West Coast new year racing circuit.
“ We are fortunate to have such
an experienced committee and the
course and track are looking good.
We have nine races this year and
the fields are looking good, which
is a reflection on the stakes we are
offering,” Eatwell said.
“The track will be heavy but I’m
sure it will be an enjoyable day for
The Rendel Foster Memorial
Hokitika Businesses Cup has
drawn a capacity field of form
runners and will be a betting
attraction for both on and off-
Jonquill, Evadir La Bala and
What a Deeza bring solid form
into the middle distance feature
and all three are realistic winning
Jonquill showed its appreciation
for the heavy Omoto course on
Saturday and won with something
in hand, from Whanganui trainer
With the Hokitika track
expected to be rain-affected
tomorrow, Jonquill will be right at
home with conditions to suit once
Stablemate Evadir La Bala was
impressive winning on a dead track
at Reefton and has to be respected
if backed here, while What a
Deeza is racing well for Riccarton
trainer Peter Rudkin.
The four-year-old mare was third
at Greymouth, following on from
a good win at Ashburton at her
Pretty Good Excuse will be
looking to make it back-to-back
wins in the $20,000 West Coast
Scrap and Steel Miss Scenicland
Stakes and brings career best form
into the 1650m feature.
Restricted to fillies and mares
and run under WFA conditions.
Pretty Good Excuse has been in
impressive form and is expected to
start as favourite here.
The Andrew Carston-trained
six-year-old brings a last start from
Riccarton and a recent Timaru
success into the Miss Scenicland.
If the Riccarton galloper is to be
tested, look to the in-form Myers
runner Bisou Bisou to do the
business as she looks to extend her
record to a hat-trick of wins. The
five-year-old is held in high regard.
teenager Charlotte Elley
has continued her rise
in netball following
her selection in the
New Zealand under-21
team to contest the
Netball Series in Fiji,
The series will be played
at the Suva Vodafone
Arena and features New
Samoa and hosts, Fiji.
The team, to be led by
Kiri Wills and former
Silver Ferns captain Julie
Seymour, left for Fiji
yesterday and provides
further preparation on
their road to Netball
World Youth Cup
The New Zealand team
Aliyah D unn, Elley,
Abby Erwood, Holly
Fowler, Jamie Hume,
Theresa Ngata, Jennifer
O’Connell, Kimiora Poi,
Their first game will be
tomorrow against Samoa.
Real Madrid and Portugal star
Cristiano Ronaldo has crowned
a dazzling 2016 by winning his
fourth FIFA’s best male player
award at a Zurich gala.
Ronaldo beat traditional rival
Lionel Messi into second and
condemned Antoine Griezmann
to a distant third after lifting the
Champions League with his club
and Euro 2016 with his country.
His personal collection was
recently boosted by a fourth
Ballon d’Or, which is once more
ran by France Football magazine
separately from the FIFA award.
The latest honour was decided
in a poll including votes from
international captains and coaches,
an online ballot of fans and votes
Leicester City boss Claudio
Ranieri was named men’s coach
of 2016 for guiding the underdogs
to a surprise Premier League
championship last May and,
despite domestic struggles this
season, the knock-out stages of the
Ronaldo’s Champions League
winning coach Zinedine Zidane
and his boss at Portugal, Fernando
Santos, missed out from the final
“ I’d like to thank my team,
national team, Real Madrid, my
trainer, my family that came here,
my son, my brothers,” Ronaldo said,
looking back on a season which saw
him also lift the Club World Cup
and the individual best player award
from UEFA. “2016 was the best
year of my career, the trophy shows
that people aren’t blind and watch
the games. With everything I won
with my national team and club,
with great individual performance,
I can’t forget this incredible year,”
Ronaldo’s year was also not
controversy — he made an early
exit with injury in the Euro 2016
final win over hosts France and the
media accused him of using tax
Messi, who has won five FIFA
best player awards and finished
second to Ronaldo on each of
his victories, helped Barcelona to
another Spanish championship but
once more lost a major final with
Argentina as they fell in the Copa
America Centenario to Chile.
Ronaldo took 34.54% of the vote
to Messi’s 26.42% with Griezmann
— who lost in the finals of both the
Champions League and Euro 2016
— back on 7.53%. — DPA
He is now the wrong side of
30 and barely inside the world’s
top 10, but Rafael Nadal remains
convinced he is still an Australian
Australia has never been the
happiest stomping ground for
Nadal, who has collected just
one of his 14 grand slam titles at
The Spaniard returns this year
having played just three ATP
events since the US Open after
a wrist injury curtailed the king
of clay ’s quest for a 10th crown at
Roland Garros and then wiped him
out of Wimbledon.
While others may doubt him,
Nadal continues to believe he can
challenge world No 1 Andy Murray
and six-times Open champion
Novak Djokovic for Open glory.
“ If I believed that if could not
have this chance during this next 11
months, I would be home fishing,”
Nadal said yesterday.
“My real goal is to try to compete
for the important things and to
compete for the important things I
know I have I want to try to beat
“ If I am working hard and I have
the motivation and passion to keep
going, I feel that if I am happy and
The 2009 Melbourne Park winner
and 2014 runner-up admitted last
season was tough and that he would
be lying if he claimed to be at 100%
fitness heading into the summer
“ It’s not easy to come back that
quick and it’s not enough to say
playing six matches in two weeks
that I am back to my full fitness
moment,” said Nadal, who also
insisted a first-round exit last
year was not cause for any added
“I feel that Melbourne is an
opportunity to play well again and
to have positive feelings and then
anything can happen if I start to
feel good and competitive.
“I love playing in Melbourne.
It’s an unbelievable event. I’m very
excited to come back. Last year
was a tough year and I just hope
to change things this year and play
better again. ”
Nadal tuned up for the Open with
a quarter-final run in Brisbane,
where he lost to Milos Raonic.
Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston
field on offer
Carston eyes Miss Scenicland Stakes
Ronaldo caps top year
Cristiano Ronaldo with his player of the year trophy.
ASB CLASSIC TENNIS
Brave Tearney, Venus fall at first hurdle
continues in Fiji
Nadal upbeat on chances
for Australian Open
World No 5 Kei Nishikori hopes
to be fine for the Australian Open
after withdrawing from a Sydney
exhibition event to nurse a hip
The Japanese superstar said he
pulled up sore after losing a three-
set final to Grigor Dimitrov at the
Brisbane International on Sunday.
Nishikori, who has been troubled
in the past by hip and rib injuries,
said it was best to take no risks a
week out from the season’s first
grand slam getting under way in
Melbourne next Monday.
“I hurt it during the match
yesterday in the final. It’s not too
bad but obviously I needed some
rest,” Nishikori said after pulling
out of last night ’s Fast4 event.
The 2014 US Open runner-up
played four matches in Brisbane,
Meadows champion and world
No 4 Stan Wawrinka in the semis
the day before the final.
“It was a really tough tournament,”
Nishikori said. “ There were five
of the top 10 in the tournament. I
played Dimi in the final and it was
another tough match and I used a
lot of energy on the court last week.”
Nishikori will be seeded fifth
at Melbourne Park, where he
has been a quarter- finalist three
times, including last year when he
lost to eventual champion Novak
Djokovic. — AAP
Nishikori taking no risk approach
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