Fiji Time: 11:37 PM on Monday 30 November

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Expect new winners

Zanzeer Singh
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

NEW winners will be crowned at the Fiji Open Tennis Championship that starts at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club in Nadi this morning.

The defending champions in the open singles categories Cyril Jacobe (men's) and Marcia Tere-Apisah (ladies) have not entered the tournament.

Ian Honila is the top seed for the men's open singles. Honila, from the Solomon Islands, is no stranger to the country. He was one of the International Tennis Federation scholarship holders based at the Regional Tennis Centre in Lautoka some years ago.

He won the annual Easter Open men's singles title in Lautoka in 2009 and 2013.

Terry Rush from the Federated States of Micronesia is the second seed. Tito Bira of Kiribati is the third seed with Steve Loeffler of Australia seeded fourth.

Fiji's Tarani Kamoe and Annie Shannon are ranked for the ladies open singles. Kamoe is the top seed while Shannon is second. Lucy Wood, a former professional player from Australia, is the third seed.

Fiji Tennis Association secretary John Shannon said the stage was set for five days of action.

John said the tournament would start with the junior division matches.

"The defending champions for the open singles are not participating," he said.

"Marcia is in the United States while Cyril Jacobe is in Vanuatu. So there will be new winners.

"There is a former professional from Australia who is participating. Lucy was a professional back in 2000. So we are not quite sure about her form but she will be a threat with all her experience."

Annie will team up with Lorraine Banimataku of Vanuatu for the ladies doubles. They are the top seed.

Bira and Rush are the number one seed in the men's doubles category.

John said young Ruby Coffin would be a player to look out for.

"Ruby is one of our rising stars who has been performing consistently," he said.

The matches will start at 8.30am.

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