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Fiji Open top seeds make bright start

Zanzeer Singh
Friday, June 06, 2014

UNIVERSITY student Raynald Singh went down fighting against top men's open singles seed Ian Honila at the Fiji Open Tennis Championship at the Denarau Golf and Racquet Club.

Raynald of Nadi lost the opening round fixture 7-5, 7-5. Honila of the Solomon Islands who previously won the Easter Open twice used his experience to oust Raynald.

Second seed Terry Rush won his match against Kunal Singh easily. Rush of the Federated States of Micronesia defeated Kunal 6-1, 6-3.

Third seed Tito Bira of Kiribati downed Junior Benjamin of the Solomon Islands 6-0, 6-3.

The top seeds in the ladies singles open category won their opening round matches.

Number one Tarani Kamoe defeated Vinda Teally of the Solomon Islands 6-2, 6-1.

Annie Shannon the second seed defeated Lorish Puluspene of Papua New Guinea 6-2, 6-0.

Fiji Tennis Association vice president Naga Reddy said the top seeds made a bright start.

Reddy said Raynald put up a gallant performance against the much experienced Honila.

"The match was very close," he said.

"There were some long rallies and Raynald kept Honila on his toes. In the ladies singles Tarani showed a lot of class.

"She had picked up a lot since joining the Georgia State University in the United States last year."

The tournament had attracted more than 150 players. A group of junior players from Vanuatu coached by Francis Bryard are participating for the first time.

The Fiji Open is one of the few tournaments in the world where the junior category is played simultaneously alongside the open, senior age groups and social events.

The tournament is one of the oldest in the country with the first event held in 1907.

WL Walker won the men's open singles title in the inaugural year. Academic Cliff Benson has won the title on five occasions.

Australia-based Sanjeev Tikaram and the Late BK Reddy have won the title three times each.

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