Maui hits good form to finish 7th in NZ

Friday January 25, 2019 Written by Published in Other Sports
Maka Maui fi nished seventh at the 12 and under New Zealand Nationals competition. 19012420 Maka Maui fi nished seventh at the 12 and under New Zealand Nationals competition. 19012420

Tennis youngster Maka Maui finished seventh at the 12-and-under New Zealand Nationals competition this week in Christchurch.

 

The annual tournament, which ended on Wednesday, is for the top 64 12U players from all over New Zealand who come together to compete for top rankings.

Maui played in the event last year and finished in eighth spot.

He was unseeded in this year’s tournament but entered into the main draw of 32 players.

Maui got off to a good start on day one in the first round, taking on a very determined Eddie Biss and won 6/0 6/4.

In the last 16 knockout draw, he again had another tough match against Queenstown number one Kai Milburn, who came out on top form winning the first set 6/1.

After Maui had held his composure and the heat affecting his opponent, he managed to pull through the last two sets winning 6/4 6/2.

In the quarter-finals, he took on number three seed Jamie McKenzie.

Tennis head coach Malcolm Kajer said McKenzie was an experienced player, having spent time training at the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy in Spain this year.

McKenzie won the first set 6/0. Maui fought hard in the second set with his opponent up by 5/3, managing to force a tiebreaker.

However he was unlucky to go down 5/7.

“I personally felt that Maka did not produce the best tennis that he is capable of but that’s the game of tennis. There are good days and bad days,” Kajer said.

“After analysing where we went wrong in his match, our aim was to gain a ranking in the top five spot against 5th seed player Ethan Cooke.”

Maui got off to a good start by winning the first set 6/2 and was up in the second set 4/1 when Cooke fought back hard, taking the game into a super tiebreaker.

Cooke took out the match after winning the second set 11/9.

In his final singles match for seventh spot, Maui played eighth ranked junior boy in New Zealand, George Baird and won the match in top form 6/0 6/0.

“Overall a brilliant display of tennis from Maka where he was competing against players who have far more match play experience than he has,” Kajer said.

In the doubles competition, Maui teamed up with Auckland-based player Chan Min and won their opening match against  Felix Parkinson and Lucca Wiseman 6/3 6/0.

In the last eight doubles, they played a brilliant match against George Baird and Jonty Gieson, winning 4/6 6/4 15/13 in the super tiebreaker.

In their semifinal match against the top seeds Jack Chapman and Harry Pugh, Maui and his partner put up a valiant fight but missed out 2/6 4/6.

“A great match as the number one seeds proved to be too strong. Overall a great display of doubles skills from Maka as he had won many fans with players and parents who couldn’t believe he was training in Rarotonga,” Kajer said.

“As a coach, I feel more work is needed on the mental side of the game as it will help Maka perform at his very best.”

Kajer thanked all the supporters for helping them in their campaign.

“Many thanks to Renee Noapii and Mathew Latham who are ex South Pacific tennis junior champions for supporting Maka throughout his matches in Christchurch.

“Thank you to all the supporters and sponsors as your help has been truly appreciated.

“We look forward to our CITC Pump Water tennis promotion and our first term of tennis coaching which will start on January 28.”

For enrolments, contact Kajer on 75614.

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