Watt and Otway shine in largely impressive day for Kiwis in Wellington

Friday, 16 December 2022

There are two New Zealanders in the women’s semi-finals and there will be at least two and possibly three in the men’s semis at the ITF US $15,000 tournament in Wellington.

All but one of the singles quarter finals have been completed on a day which saw the second round and quarter finals played.

The women’s semi-finals feature New Zealand’s Jade Otway against Aussie Mia Repac. Otway defeated fourth seeded Aussie Alicia Smith 7-6 (2) 6-2 in the quarters while Repac upset top seed Zuzana Zlochova 7-5 6-1. Vivian Yang outclassed 17-year-old Kiwi wildcard Kyna Decruy 6-0 6-0 and will face Aussie third seed Catherine Aulia.

Top seed Ajeet Rai is through to the men’s semi-finals against Aussie Kody Pearson while Kiwi wildcard and surprise packed James Watt will meet either fellow New Zealander Isaac Becroft or Aussie Jeremy Beale in the other semi-final.

Becroft played the longest match of the day beating Aussie 6th seed Blake Ellis 6-2 3-6 6-3 in 2 hours 24 minutes. He and Beale who upset Kiwi fourth seed Kiranpal Pannu will play their quarter final at 10am on Saturday with the winner meeting Watt in the semis later in the day.

Rai defeated Finn Reynolds 6-1 7-6 (3) in the second round and then overcame 5th seed Daisuke Sumizawa 6-3 5-7 6-1. 22-year-old Watt is playing his first professional tournament and has made an impression in the capital beating New Zealand’s top junior Jack Loutit 6-4 6-3 in their quarter final. Watt had earlier taken out 8th seeded Japanese player Yuichiro Inui 6-3 6-1 in the second round.

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