Finn Reynolds & Marcus Daniell win EVES Open title

Friday, 22 December 2023

Two pro titles in two weeks for the New Zealand doubles pairing of Marcus Daniell and Finn Reynolds.

Wellington and Pāpāmoa. Eight matches, eight wins. Not a single set lost.

It has been the perfect comeback for Olympic bronze medallist Daniell, who has returned after injury and a long break away from the game; the time on court this past fortnight has been invaluable as he works his way back to full match fitness.

The 34-year-old, who reached a career high world doubles ranking of 34 in 2018, will now turn his attention to the Brisbane International in the first week of 2024, and then the ASB Classic in Auckland the week after.

For Reynolds, the EVES Open win in Pāpāmoa caps off another great season on the ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour. The 23-year-old has won five doubles titles in 2023, to add to his four titles in 2022.

He was also a member of the New Zealand Davis Cup team that beat Thailand in Invercargill in September, winning his doubles rubber with Artem Sitak.

Daniell and Reynolds have been dominant all week at the EVES Open – ITF World Tennis Tour: Tauranga, a professional event for men (M15) and women (W25) with official ATP and WTA world ranking points and a total prize pool of US$40,000.

It was an all-New Zealand men’s doubles final on Friday evening between Daniell and Reynolds, and Reece Falck and George Stoupe.

The final score: 7-5, 6-4.

The EVES Open is being held at Pāpāmoa Tennis Club, at the Venture Developments WBOP Tennis Centre in Gordon Spratt Reserve.

Good crowds have turned out all week to watch top international men’s and women’s tennis and they were treated to another sporting spectacle on Friday.

The first match on centre court was the singles final of the New Zealand Wheelchair Tennis National Championships, which has been played alongside the EVES Open this week.

Travis Moffat beat David Venter 6-1, 6-2.

The women’s singles semi-final featuring New Zealand’s Valentina Ivanov was up next.

Ivanov has had a brilliant week. The 22-year-old is working her way back after two knee surgeries and was a wildcard entry into this ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event.

On Tuesday, in the opening round, she had the biggest win of her career – taking out the tournament's top seed, world number 182 Himeno Sakatsume from Japan.

Ivanov followed that up with two more solid wins during the week, before losing the semi-final to Australian Ivana Popovic 6-4, 6-3 on Friday.

Popovic will play fellow Australian Talia Gibson in the final on Saturday, starting at 11am.

Another young Kiwi who has performed well this week is 19-year-old Jack Loutit. 

He lost his singles semi-final 6-2, 6-4 to top seed Matthew Dellavedova from Australia on Friday, but beat much higher ranked players in the two previous matches to get there.

The other men’s singles semi-final on centre court saw Tauranga local Corban Crowther, who has had a week to remember, playing Australian Jacob Bradshaw.

Crowther came out of the blocks firing, winning the first set 6-3 and giving his home crowd plenty to cheer about.

Bradshaw fought his way back into the match, however, winning the second set 6-1, and then the final set 6-1.

He will play compatriot Dellavedova in the men’s singles final on Saturday.

The women’s doubles final on Friday went all the way to a super tiebreak, with Japan’s Hikaru Sato and Mio Mushika beating Czech Michaela Bayerlova and Australian Alana Parnaby 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 to take the title.

The EVES Open women’s singles final will start at 11am on Saturday and will be followed by the men’s singles final.

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