Pacific Oceania entered both a Men’s and Women’s Teamin the recently concluded Asia-Pacific Tennis League (ATL) at Melbourne Park during the second week of the Australian Open.
The Women’s Team finished 5th equal and the Men’s team 7th equal
The Women’s Team was Sally Peers; Abigail-Tere-Apisah; Rosie Cheng; Brittany Teei; with Juan Langton and Aymeric Mara sharing the Captain/Manager roles.
The Men’s Team was Nickolas N’Godrela; Heve Kelley; William O’Connell; Brett Baudinet and Gilles de Gouy (Manager).
Results can be accessed here http://leagues.tennis.com.au/organisation/info/1214
Juan Langton’s report(Team Manager) is trailing here:
“Filling in the number one spot, was Sally Peers from Australia. Sally has just come back from an injury but managed to play the final of the Geelong Platinum AMT (Australian Money Tournament) and even more impressive was able to play the Australian Open wild card play-off. Having these key matches before the ATL (Australian Tennis League) event would show in her upcoming matches for the Pacific Oceania Dolphins.
Our number two player was Abigail Tere- Apisah from Papua New Guinea. 2015 was a very successful year for Abigail. Winning numerous Golds in the South Pacific Games in her home country was only one of achievements. Abigail also gained her first world ranking points and had the opportunity to play in the Caro Bowl team event in New Zealand, as well as winning a few AMT (Australian Money Tournaments) which contributed to her confidence during the ATL event.
Number three player was Rosie Cheng from New Zealand. The youngest in our team, Rosie had come over from New Zealand with a lot of tennis under her belt. In December Rosie won the Auckland Champs, the New Zealand Residentials singles and doubles, the 18’s nationals singles and doubles and was a Caro Bowl team finalist. To add to her list of achievements she was granted a wild card into the ASB qualifying event where she narrowly lost her first round 6-7 6-3 2-6.
Our fourth player was Brittany Teei from the Cook Islands. Like many tennis players trying to balance tennis with work commitments and side projects, Brittany does not have the luxury of playing many tournaments, but she did put the hard yards into her training after hours. This is the reality of most Tennis players which also makes the challenge even more rewarding.
On the first day of competition The Pacific Oceania Dolphins drew number 3 seeds MCC Stars from Melbourne.Sally Peers started her debut as a Dolphin vs Katarzyna Piter who originally plays for Poland. Both these players have grown up playing each other, as a bystander you could see the mutual respect for one another. Piter was striking the ball very clean and using all of Peers power to control the points. Peers was very unlucky in the first set, losing two crucial sudden death points, that could of changed the momentum of the match. In the end Piter defeated Peers 4-2 4-1
Abigael Tere- Apisah was up next against Zoe Hives. Hives came out striking the ball very powerful and flat. This helped Hives put a lot of pressure on Abigael who was trying to control her nerves and find her groove. Hives defeated Tere-Apisah 4-0 4-2
Rosie Cheng was also making her debut as a Dolphin. She was up against the experienced Genevieve LORBERGS. From the first point Rosie was striking the ball clean and making few errors. Putting a lot of pressure on Lorbergs service game. Rosie defeated Lorbergs 4-2 4-3 giving the Dolphins their first point.
Brittany Teei was up against rising star Eliza Long from Australia. This singles match was very crucial for both teams. Both players had a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Long played some great consistent tennis taking the match 4-0 4-2
Both doubles were very important. MCC STARS switched their number 1 line up. To me as the Captain/ Coach this showed a sign of respect towards the Pacific Oceania Dolphins. Tere-Apisah / Peers defeated Karatiana / Lorbergs 4-1 4-2. Unfortunately the number one pairing of Piter / Hives was to strong for the Dolphins Rosie Cheng / Brittany Teei going down 4-0 4-0
2nd DAY OF PLAY
The girls woke up feeling good and positive for their 5th placement play off against Western Sydney Warriors. After having a high intensity warm up for an hour and a half hitting baskets of balls to fine tune their shots, The Dolphins were ready for another long day of battle in the hot sun. Peers got the Dolphins off to a great start winning her first singles match 4-2 4-0.
Rosie Cheng was on the other court battling it out, proving too strong for her Western Sydney Warrior winning her 2nd singles match in the ATL competition 4-1 4-3
Abigael Tere-Apisah came out shaking off her nerves from the day before, to take the Dolphins to a 3 point lead winning her singles match 4-1 4-2
Brittany Teei came close to winning her first singles match in the ATL event, eventually going down in a tight match 4-0 1-4 1-4
Because she won the first set, this sealed the win for the Pacific Oceania Dolphins to make history and have their fist win in a ATL event.
Even though we had won the tie, both teams wanted to continue on with the doubles to please the crowd. Tere-Apisah / Peers lost a close doubles match going down 4-1 2-4 3-5 in the tie breaker.
Cheng / Teei would also be defeated 4-2 4-1
It was a very successful two days for the girls. They played extremely well, showed great sportsmanship and proved they could be great ambassador’s not only for the sport tennis, but also for their respective countries.
I would just like to say thank you to Aymeric Mara (from Vanuatu) for your managing skills, organising transport, booking of courts & showing both Ladies & Mens teams their way around Melbourne Park. Thank you to Cyrille Mainguy for the support of the Mens & Ladies team, was not easy commuting between the two teams. Also the Dolphins would like to thank all the supporters family / friends and new found friends for their support during the 2 day event.”
2015:MELBOURNE PARK-JANUARY 2015
Both the Men’s and Women’s Pacific Oceania Dolphins Team finished a creditable 7th equal in the Asia/Pacific Teams Event at Melbourne Park during the 2nd week of Australian Open. The Women’s Team was 1 Set and 12 games away from finishing 5th.
The Oceania Tennis Federation acknowledges the tremendous financial support from Tennis Australia to allow 10 players and 2 coaches to attend and compete in this high profile event. Without their support participation in this event would not have been possible
The respective teams comprised:
Men: Nikolas N’Godrela (NC) Julien Delaplane (NC) Cyril Jacobe (VAN) Aymeric Mara (VAN) Brett Baudinet (CI) Heve Kelley (TAH)
Women: Abigail Tere-Apisah (PNG) Brittany Teei (CI) Elodie Launay (NC) Yaelle Honakoko (NC)
Eight Men’s and eight Women’s teams vied for the winner’s purse of $20,000 when the ATL commenced in the 2nd week of the Australian Open from Monday 20-Tuesday 21st at Melbourne Park. This event uses a unique match format of:
- The best of 3 short sets with a short tie-break at 3-3 in singles
- The best of 2 short sets with a short tie-break at 3-3 in doubles. A Match Tie-Break is played if the players split sets
- No service lets (if the ball hits the net cord on the serve and lands in the correct service box, play will continue). In doubles either partner can return the ball if it hits the net cord and lands in the correct service box.
- No-Ad scoring
- 3 minute warm up and no sitting down at the change of ends.
The Pacific Oceania team were faced with some of the very best players from Australia and New Zealand with Nikolas N’Godrela, in particular, holding his own against players he came up against in singles and doubles. In the final analysis the team came a very creditable 8th.
The Team comprised Daniel Llarenas (GUM), Cyrille Mainguy (VAN-Captain), Sebastien Baldovini (CAL-Manager), Aymeric Mara (VAN); Nikolas N’Godrela (CAL), Cyril Jacobe (VAN).
Prior to this event the team played a warm up event in Shepparton, Victoria with Nikolas N’Godrela convincingly winning the singles final 61,61 against the 4th seed, Ryan Draffin from Australia and then teaming with Cyril Jacobe (VAN) to win the Doubles Final.
The inaugural Asia-Pacific Tennis League was held on the Plexicushion surface at Melbourne Park, the scene of the Australian Open, from 22nd-24th January 2013. Eight Women’s and 8 Men’s Teams competed using a “Monrad” Draw for a prize purse of $15,000 to the winner team and $1,000 to the 8th placed team.
The Pacific Oceania Team, aptly named “the Pacific Oceania Dolphins was comprised of Nikolas N’Godrela(pictureded on the right), Cyril Jacobe, Juan Langton, Daniel Llarenas, Samuel Journet, Gregory Jacobe and captained by Cyrille Mainguy.
The Monrad Draw ensures that each team will play off for each position, meaning that at the conclusion of the event each team will be ranked from 1 through to 8. Whilst the Pacific Oceania Dolphins Team finished 8th, they were far from disgraced and this was an outstanding opportunity for all the players across Pacific Oceania to play in a team truly representative of the Pacific with the inclusion of New Caledonian players. Given that many of the Australian players had world ranking in the 180-350 category, the competition was extremely difficult.
This competition used an unusual and unique format with matches the best of 3 short sets with a short tiebreaker at 3-3 in singles. In doubles it was 2 short sets with a short tiebreaker at 3-3. A match tie break was then played if sets were split. There were no service lets, no-ad scoring,
no sitting down at the change of ends and only a 3 minute warm up. All of this created fast paced action that the players absolutely loved but had to quickly adapt to. Everone absolutely loved the team clothing worn by the Pacific Oceania Team. A team uniform was mandatory and this was created and designed by Richard Breen of Unipro Productions in Fiji.