Big role for duo

William o Connell and sairose breen with the mixed doubles open title. Picture: SUPPLIED

NATIONAL tennis reps William O’Connell and Saoirse Breen will play a major role for Fiji at the Punjas-sponsored Oceania Tennis Federation Nation’s Cup in Lautoka. This is after they delivered success for the country by taking out the mixed open title during the Tattslotto Fiji Open Championship at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club courts in Nadi last week.

O’Connell and Breen showed exemplary teamwork and fighting spirit to overcome the top seeds to win the title.

They defeated the number two seeds from Samoa, Leon Soonalole /Steffi Carruthers 6-2, 6-1, 10-8 in the semi-final and beat number one seeds Thomas Perrin from France and Roxanne Clarke from South Africa 3-6, 6-0, 10-2 in the final.

Both matches went down to the wire with O’Connell and Breen winning after a tie breaker. With their impressive performance O’Connell and Breen have been eyed to become Fiji’s top mixed doubles combination in tennis.

Perrin downed O’Connell 6-0 6-1 to win the men’s open singles title and Yaelle Honekoko from New Caledonia defeated Fiji’s Mulan Kamoe 6-4, 6-3 to take home the women’s open singles title.

The tournament delivered some record numbers with 195 players from 17 counties participating which equated to 398 matches within 37 events across 14 courts during the five days.

Tournament organiser Aaron Bosse said the event continued to expand which was great for the growth of tennis in the country.

“This year was our 111st Fiji Open and we are excited that it continues to attract new players from new countries each year,” Bosse said.

The 2018 Fiji Open was presented by Fiji Tatslotto in association with Punjas, Fiji National Sports Commission, Sports World, Aquasafe, Denarau Golf and Racquet Club.

Results: In the men’s open doubles final, Matavao Fanguna (Tonga)/Leon Soonalole (Samoa) bt Junior Benjamin (Solomon Islands)/Graham Mani (Solomon Islands) 6-2, 6-1 while Roxanne Clarke (South Africa)/Yaelle Honekoko (New Caledonia) bt Steffi Carruthers (Samoa)/Eleanor Schuster (Samoa) 6-3, 6-4.