Māori tennis tournament hopes to court Venus Williams

By Eru Paranihi

With less than a week to go, the 2016 Aotearoa Māori Tennis Championships kick off in Hamilton on December 27th at the Waikato Tennis centre.

It will be the 90th year that the tournament has been held.  Over the years, there have been many fine players to have participated including Ruia Morrison, David Goldsmith and Charles Peni, who first competed and travelled with Pei Te Hurinui Jones.

Names to look out for according to organiser Dick Garratt are Kyle Butters (who is cousin to NZ tennis Championships runner-up Paige Hourigan), Eru Lyndon and former Māori Television reporter Rewa Harriman.

Garratt is hopeful to have one other name enter the tournament, despite being a long shot.

“We’ve been negotiating with Venus Williams for the last two years. (It's) very difficult to work through their agents and managers. So we’re just hopeful that Venus or Serena would turn up to the tournament.”

The Pōwhiri will commence on the first day Tuesday morning, with games spread out right through to the finals on the 29th.