Kiwi disappointment with tennis

The ASB Classic women’s tournament kicked off in relatively quiet style this week, due in no part to most of its target audience still being down in places like the Coromandel.

It was a warm night at Stanley St, but centre court was the scene of wildcard entrant Jade Lewis’ first and last singles’ match in the tournament.

Earlier in the day fellow young Kiwi Paige Mary Hourigan and her doubles partner Erin Routcliffe put up a decent fight in their first round match, losing in a super tiebreak – but losing nonetheless.

Lewis, 19, had a good start to being in the public eye this time last year, drawing the legendary Venus Williams in the first round.

The amount of money that Lewis has had invested in her may well cop plenty of skepticism, however it’s more a reflection on just how hard it is to make it in tennis from this part of the world.

The current struggle that women’s tennis faces in NZ really does make the ongoing criticism that Marina Erakovic has put up with during her career seem exceptionally harsh, because at least she was making grand slams.

Lewis still has the doubles to play, however that has nowhere near the profile that a decent run in the main draw of the singles.

Then the tournament is gone, the tiny window of exposure for women’s tennis in this country closed off for another year.