Channel Rising Star: Danielle Feneridis
– Westlake Girls Tennis Champion
At Channel Magazine we love to highlight young North Shore people who are reaching for the stars. One such person is 17 year old Westlake Girls student and champion tennis player Danielle Feneridis.
Danielle, from Rothesay Bay is in Year 13 at Westlake Girls, and has recently returned from winning both the singles and doubles titles at the Air Pacific Open Junior Tennis Championships in Fiji. The grade four International Tennis Federation event included under 18 players from Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. There were a total of 35 in the singles event.
She was the number two seed for the tournament, beating Claudia Williams from Auckland 6-1, 7-6 in the final. She had earlier teamed up with Williams to win the doubles title with the same score against another Kiwi pairing, of Bridget Liddell and Sade Atkinson.
Channel Magazine interviewed Danielle in mid-July just after she returned from winning the event, on the new covered courts that are contained under the big new Westlake Girls High School 'Cloud' structure that can be seen from the motorway and was featured on the cover of our May issue. While she is in her last year at school, Danielle is sure that having the new all-weather facility will turn out many more tennis champions for the school in the years ahead.
"I wish I had another year left at school as these are the best facilities for training," said Danielle. "We have a strong school tennis team which will only get stronger with being able to train under cover all year round."
Danielle's Westlake Girls team was runner up in the schools’ national tennis championship in March this year, and is the current holder of the 'Points Shield' as the best Auckland school.
Sporting success runs in the Feneridis family. Danielle's brother Alex left in late July as part of the New Zealand Soccer team competing at the London Olympics.
Danielle, who attended Murrays Bay Primary and Intermediate, was encouraged to take up tennis at age nine by her parents Diane and Costa, who are members of the Browns Bay Tennis Club. She hated it at first and refused to play, but soon realised that she was quite good at it and grew to like it. She has since won the Auckland Junior, Intermediate and Senior Girls Championship Singles titles. She has won the Senior title twice. As well as playing in Fiji, Danielle has played tennis in Australia, New Caledonia, Malaysia, India and Germany.
Danielle is coached by former New Zealand Tennis Davis Cup player Jeff Simpson at the Tennis Northern facility in Albany. She says her strength is a strong backhand – her favourite shot. Her ambition when she leaves school at the end of this year is to go on tour for a bit, probably in Europe, before securing a tennis scholarship at a college in the United States.