Queenstown’s top junior tennis player, Kai Milburn, last week defended his Wānaka Open singles title, easily beating fourth-year United States college player, Wellingtonian Jin Dassanayake, in the final and pocketing $500.

Kai, 16, who’s reached a career-high junior (under-18) ranking of 312, is this week competing in a junior International Tennis Federation tournament in Christchurch.

Before Wānaka he had a hit-out with Queenstown-raised doubles tennis pro Ben McLachlan, who was back for a Christmas break — Kai’s pictured, left, at the local club tennis courts with McLachlan, centre, and the latter’s coach and brother, Riki.

Ben, 31, who represents Japan, has been partnering Kiwi Olympic bronze medallist Marcus Daniell, 34, as a wildcard entry in this week’s ASB Classic in Auckland.

Next week he teams up with Japan’s No 1 singles player, Yoshihito Nishioka, 28, at the Australian Open grand slam in Melbourne.

Ben, who’s been a pro since 2014, had his best grand slam result in Melbourne in 2018 when he reached the semis — later that year he had a career-high world doubles ranking of 18 (he’s now at 79).

[email protected]

- Advertisement -