Focus on Samoa

Fiji's Saoirse Breen in action at Lautoka Tennis Court. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

REGIONAL tennis players will turn their focus to the Oceania Tennis Championship after the completion of the OTF Nations Cup Pacific in Lautoka yesterday. The Oceania Tennis Championship will be played in Apia, Samoa from September 3-8.

The championship will also feature players from Australia and New Zealand apart from the Pacific Island nations.

Oceania Tennis Federation president Cyrille Mainguy said this would be a different tournament.

“At the Oceania Championship we will have Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia participating among the other nations,” Mainguy said.

“It will be a good tournament because our players do not often get to play against opponents from Australia and New Zealand. “However they do play against New Caledonia at the Pacific Games. “What has happened in the past is that Australia has always sent their best over 35-year-old players and they have been very competitive.

“This year I think Australia will be sending their best indigenous team. New Zealand has always sent a couple of Davis Cup players mixed with juniors. I hope that we will get full support from these countries.”

The nations competing in the Oceania Tennis Championship will have to bear the cost of their participants’ visa and air fares.

Mainguy said the Samoa Tennis Federation would look after the accommodation, meals and transportation of the participants in Apia.

He said Samoa was ready to host the upcoming event and also the 2019 Pacific Games. “Samoa has already hosted the Pacific Games successfully,” Mainguy said.

“The Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu last year was a success. Congratulations to Fiji for winning a medal there. “But the Pacific Games next year will be bigger. Next week the Oceania National Olympic Committee general assembly will be held in Samoa and we will be visiting all the sites. I think Samoa is pretty much ready.”