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Oamaru’s grass tennis courts are “the best they’ve ever looked” at the start of the senior tennis competition, North Otago Tennis president Josh Dalziel says.

Weather permitting, the North Otago interclub competition will start next week.

Up to nine teams, including two doubles-only teams, will face off each Thursday night for singles and doubles matches, or doubles only, at Chelmer St’s 12 grass courts.

And the standard of competition is expected to be high, as a lot of keen junior players advanced to the senior level, Dalziel said.

“They’ve been playing for a few years now and hitting quite a good ball. It doesn’t take long for them to improve.

“That range of top players is only getting better. There are going to be some pretty good number twos this season.

“It’s looking pretty good.”

But with six players in each team, the skill level was wide-ranging and new players were still welcome to register, Dalziel said.

“It’s easy to get involved and everyone there is pretty welcoming,” he said.

“Some haven’t played a lot of tennis .. and then you’ve got the likes of Robin Jamieson and Jason Forrest who would be in the top 10 in the Southern region.”

North Otago representative players will also be using Thursday night games to prepare for the first quadrangular tournament of the year in mid to late-November.

“We’ll have a team in division one and division two this year,” he said.

North Otago had its first win as a team in division one last year, against Southland.

“It was pretty good, really, because we’re competing against all the other regions in Southern,” he said.

Anyone interested in playing tennis in the interclub competition should call or text Josh Dalziel on 027 403-4091.