14 Jun 2018

Sport: Nations Cup tennis event a hit in the Pacific

12:13 pm on 14 June 2018

The Oceania Tennis Federation is hopeful the inaugural Nations Cup - Pacific will become a regular event on the regional calendar.

64 players from 15 Oceania countries and territories competed over six days in Lautoka, with Tahiti and the Northern Marianas taking out the men's and women's team titles last week.

Tahiti won the men's event.

Tahiti won the men's event. Photo: Facebook/Oceania Tennis

Oceania Tennis President Cyrille Mainguy said the Nations Cup was a welcome opportunity for Pacific tennis players to get top-level senior competition close to home.

"What made us go to ITF is all those Class C members don't have Davis Cup teams or Fed Cup teams - in Oceania we have a combined team but only four men's players and four women's players actually represent Pacific Oceania

So all the other senior players that are home-based are actually left out so the project was we need to include more competition at a senior level and having it this year, in a year between Mini Games and [the Pacific] Games is actually perfect.

"On the other hand it's also great for the selectors for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams to see the players playing at this competition and give them some sort of head to head result that will definitely be taken into consideration for selection of next year's teams."

Northern Marianas won the women's event.

Northern Marianas won the women's event. Photo: Facebook/Oceania Tennis

The International Tennis Federation contributed US$90,000 towards the event, which covered the flights, accommodation and meals for the respective teams, and Cyrille Mainguy is keen to see it continue.

"The ITF has indicated that this is a pilot project - that's why we call it Nations Cup - Pacific - because the long-term vision is to see probably a Nations Cup - Africa, Nations Cup - Europe/America with all the Class C members," he said.

"And why not have them [compete in] a Class C Nations Cup final - to me that's the dream to have that so definitely in August we have the ITF AGM so I will definitely go there and lobby for this tournament to continue.

"And report that it was exceptional, it was a great success and I'm really hoping that the ITF will continue to support the event financially."

Oceania Tennis President Cyrille Mainguy.

Oceania Tennis President Cyrille Mainguy. Photo: Facebook/Oceania Tennis