18 Dec 2016

Sitak and Lewis win tennis titles

5:34 am on 18 December 2016

Artem Sitak and Jade Lewis have won their respective singles titles at the New Zealand Tennis Championships in Auckland.

Artem Sitak wins NZ Championship 2016.

Artem Sitak wins NZ Championship 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It was title number three for Sitak and a first for teenager Lewis.

Sitak who is regarded as a doubles player and currently ranked 62 in the world in doubles had previously won the New Zealand title in 2010 and 2013, however this year he won the title in a rush 6-2 6-0 over the 482nd in singles ranked Finn Tearney

Sitak was very happy with both the win and the fact he gets awarded a wildcard into the singles main draw of the ASB Classic next month.

"The match was actually a lot closer than the score suggested. I think I played well. I'm really happy with the win. It's going to be great to be in the main draw singles after all these years of being in the qualifying and trying for the main draw."

When asked if the wildcard will mean a singles comeback Sitak says doubles is still where it's at for the moment.

"I make a living out of doubles and I'm ranked inside the top 100. It's not too late to change maybe (laughs), but I'll be playing doubles in Chennai or Doha in the first week of the year and then back to Auckland and then Australian Open."

Jade Lewis

Jade Lewis Photo: Photosport

The women's singles had two teenagers battling it out. Lewis, who turns 18 the day after winning her title and Paige Hourigan, 19 on a tennis scholarship at Georgia Tech in the United States.

Hourigan took the first set 7-5 after several breaks of serve, but never really looked in full control as Lewis who hails from one of the most famous names in the sport in New Zealand came back to win the final two sets 6-3 6-1.

"I fought really hard to work my way into the match and I'd even been ahead late in the first set so I didn't feel I was really behind. I made less mistakes and she starting making more mistakes," said Lewis who has a current ranking of 1004 in the world.

Whenever her surname is said Lewis always has the pressure of an uncle, Chris as a Wimbledon finalist an uncle, Mark a former top coach and Davis Cup team member and father, David as a top coach and Davis Cup player.

"I won it. It wasn't my dad winning it or my uncle winning it. Yeah they have won it and my dad helped me as much coach, but it was me on the court winning as me."

In the men's doubles final Marcus Daniell at 50 in the world and Sitak defeated Ben Mclachlan and Tearney 6-1 6-4 to take the title in relatively straightforward fashion. It was Sitak's fourth NZ Champs doubles title and the first for Daniell.