Single-minded Wilkie now leading Australia against Kiwis

by admin

Former world number two Brett Wilkie has regained his status as the country’s leading singles player, as Terry Wilson reports for the Gold Coast Bulletin.

The Club Helensvale star, nicknamed “Whiz”, has been named to head the Australian assault against New Zealand in the Trans-Tasman Challenge in Christchurch from March 18 to 20.

It will be the first time Wilkie has played major singles for Australia since 2012.

“It’s always an honour to play for Australia but getting the singles is an even greater honour,” 40-year-old Wilkie said.

A bronze medallist in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Wilkie’s 2014 campaign included being runner-up in both the Australian Open and Australian Indoor singles, a semi-finalist in the prestige Golden Nugget singles at Tweed Heads, and winning eight from eight for Helensvale in the Five a Side series.

Joining Wilkie in the trip to New Zealand are his Helensvale clubmates, left-hander Mark Casey and Australian Jackaroos captain Lynsey Clarke.

Former Gold Coast-based Kelsey Cottrell, who was Australia’s singles player in the Trans Tasman last year, is also in the five-player side which will play singles, pairs, triples and fours under a Commonwealth Games format.

Wilkie will join Aron Sherriff (Ettalong, NSW) in the pairs; the triples team is Wayne Ruediger (Grange, SA), Casey and Matthew Flapper (Ocean Grove, Vic); while Ruediger, Casey, Flapper Sherriff comprise the fours team.

The women’s team is: Chloe Stewart (Kyneton, Vic) in singles, Stewart and Anne Johns (St Johns Park, NSW) in pairs, Clarke, Claire Turley (Cabramatta, NSW) and Cottrell; and the fours rink is Clarke, Johns, Turley and Cottrell.