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Covid-19 has positive spin for Milford Tennis Club

Flagstaff Team

Chelsea cup winners… (from left) Vanesa Cutfield, Vivian Yang, Aishi Das, Shona Nakano, Jacqui Anderson, Hyeok Min, Matt Alexander, Matavao Fanguna, Sion Wiggin, Matt Shearer and Riki McLachlan

Milford Tennis Club won the prestigious Chelsea Cup in both the men’s and women’s divisions this year – 34 years after it previously achieved the rare double.

The Chelsea Cup has been the top prize for premier North Harbour tennis teams since 1986, when Milford last won both women’s and men’s grades.

Covid-19 restrictions played a part in the dual success this year: Men’s captain and number one Matt Alexander usually heads to overseas to in 2020 he was trapped in New Zealand and won both his singles and doubles matches in Milford’s 5-1 win against Whangaparaoa in the final.

The top two Milford women, Vivian Yang and Shona Nakano, were also stuck in New Zealand enabling Milford to field its top team in the finals series.

The women’s final was closer than the men’s. Milford won 4-2 over Northcote, but it could have easily gone into a countback

until an excellent performance by 12-year- old Aishi Das in the last match, with Milford leading 3-2. Aishi lost the first set 7-6, but took control in the second 6-1 and then rounded out the match 6-2.

“She’s just amazing for her age,” said team captain Vanesa Cutfield. The wins in 2020 continue a golden couple of years for Milford, now New Zealand’s largest club. Last year, it opened a purpose-built new clubhouse overlooking the courts and Lake Pupuke.


This article originally appeared in the 30 October 2020 edition of the Rangitoto Observer.

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