A successful year ahead for Hourigan

By Jessica Tyson

New Zealand’s No. 1 ranked women's tennis player Paige Hourigan has started 2019 on a high after an incredible performance at the ASB Classic.

Hourigan, of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, made the doubles final yesterday and, despite falling short of the win, it has set her up for a successful year ahead.

She had never played in a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tournament outside the Classic, so making the final was a major achievement and now she wants to focus on improving her world ranking of 576.

“I’m hoping I can gain that confidence back and keep on building my ranking,” she told Te Kāea reporter James Perry.

She recently returned to Aotearoa for the Classic after completing her Business Studies at Georgia Tech, USA, which means she can focus this year on training.

The 21-year-old had plans to travel to Singapore later this month to further her training but an abdominal injury she received before Sunday’s match could hold her back, she says.

Depending on how the recovery goes from the injury, she might be staying in New Zealand for another month to train.

She also says she’s looking forward to going home to Turakina and Whanganui to spend time with her whanau later this week.

Hourigan and her doubles partner Taylor Townsend lost the match on Sunday, falling short 1-6 6-1 10-7 to Eugenie Bouchard and Sofia Kenin.