Wet weather may have dampened the playing field, but organisers refuse to let it affect the North Otago Tennis grass open competition this weekend.
The open was originally scheduled for last weekend. However, the Chelmer St grass courts were too wet from recent rain and the event was postponed until this weekend.
North Otago Tennis president Josh Dalziel said the situation was frustrating, as the open had been set to boast one of its best playing fields in the past 10 years.
“With the amount of rain that we had it was touch and go. We probably could have held it,” Dalziel said.
“[But] we would have done a lot of damage to the courts and the ball would have just been too dead to play.”
The men’s competition originally had a full draw with 32 players in the singles and 18 doubles pairs, but at least 12 entries pulled out, including five top-seeded players, due to the change of date.
The women’s grade had six singles players and three doubles pairs.
“A lot of the big names that were coming just can’t make it any more, which is pretty unfortunate but that’s just the way it goes.
“It should still be a very good weekend – at this stage we should still have about 25 in the men’s draw.
“It’s still probably better than what we’ve had over the last four or five years and still some reasonable quality of tennis players.”
There was a strong contingent of players travelling from outside North Otago, including those from Wanaka, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Dalziel said it was promising to see players travelling and the competition picked up a couple of late entries with the postponement.
“They are still coming a wee way for it, and that’s pretty positive.
“I think it’s the nature of the grass, it’s something a bit different for a lot of people.”
The two-day competition would finish at noon on Sunday, with the men’s singles final the last match.
“If anyone wants to come watch, there’s usually some very good tennis being played.”