4 Dec 2017

Sport: Home finale for Vanuatu tennis star

11:56 am on 4 December 2017

Vanuatu tennis player Cyril Jacobe can't wait to experience a home crowd after coming out of retirement to compete at the Pacific Mini Games.

Vanuatu tennis star, Cyril Jacobe

Vanuatu tennis star, Cyril Jacobe Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie

This will be Games number seven for the 34-year-old, who was also a long-time representative for Pacific Oceania in the Davis Cup.

He hung up his racquet after winning bronze at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby two years ago, but was persuaded to give it one last shot on home soil.

"Cyrille [Mainguy], the President of Tennis Federation Vanuatu, managed to convince me but there was also the drive for me to play again, to do it in front of my friends, family and the home crowd, and just see how well I can play at home with the pressure," Jacobe said.

"But pressure is a privilege and you can always play better at home so I'm looking forward to how I play here. I've never done it, I'm looking forward to it."

Jacobe is a tennis coach by day and said he's sacrificed weekends and weekday mornings all year to be ready for the next 12 days.

"I feel the fittest I've ever felt - I don't know why I'm waiting to become a veteran to feel fitter and to be as light as I am today.

"I'm feeling really good, I'm still feeling very powerful but all in all by body's been doing really well this year, preparation's been good and my diet has been awesome and I'm really looking forward to a podium finish but going going for gold of course, because I'm in Vanuatu, but definitely looking for a podium finish," Jacobe said.

The men's and women's team events get underway today at the Korman Complex, with the finals on Thursday.

There are seven gold medals up for grabs in tennis, with the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events to be decided next week.

The courts at the Korman Complex in Vanuatu

The courts at the Korman Complex in Vanuatu Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie