Agnieszka Radwańska surprises bride and groom at the ASB Classic

The tennis-themed nuptials were organised by ASB as part of the game, set, matrimony event on the eve of the 2018 ASB Classic.

More than 120 of Feleti Sofele and Janine Thirlwall's friends and family joined the pair to celebrate their big day, and were surprised when the ASB Classic's women's tournament's fourth seed Agnieszka Radwańska arrived on court to help officiate the ceremony.

Agnieszka Radwańska said: "I surprised them being there, it was something really cool."

After the ceremony the newlyweds were buzzing, with Feleti saying he was amazed when Radwańska walked over to meet them at the altar.

"We were told we might get a few photos with a player, so it was pretty cool when Radwańska came out to actually be part of the ceremony," Feleti said.

Janine agreed: "To have our friends and family here celebrating with us as we married at one of our favourite places has been a dream come true for us."

Later in the afternoon as Mr and Mrs Sofele were having their wedding photos taken Radwańska returned to the court - this time to practise. While warming up she asked the pair whether they'd like to have a few hits with her on court. Feleti and Janine jumped at the offer to have a hit with the tennis star, still in their wedding attire.

The couple then joined friends and family for a reception at the ASB Tennis Arena.

ASB head of community, sponsorship and events Mark Graham was pleased Feleti and Janine loved their special tennis-themed day as much as ASB enjoyed organising it for them.

"Feleti and Janine are arguably New Zealand's biggest tennis-loving couple; they met at a tennis club and got engaged on a tennis court so it was fitting for their wedding to take place at New Zealand's home of tennis with one of this year's biggest ASB Classic names," Mr Graham says.

Feleti and Janine Sofele will return to Stanley Street on Saturday to perform the coin toss for the ASB Classic women's final.

Game, set, matrimony

To celebrate ASB Classic 2018, ASB searched for New Zealand's biggest tennis fans to wed on the eve of this year's tournament. Feleti and Janine were chosen out of more than 25 couples from across New Zealand for their obvious love for each other, tennis and the ASB Classic tournament.

An ASB Classic volunteer for the last seven years, Feleti entered himself and his now-wife Janine into the competition saying: "A wedding on the tennis court or anything with tennis a theme will add to the dream."

Other ASB Classic brands involved in the game, set, matrimony event include Working Style and BMW.

About Feleti and Janine:

  • Feleti (45) grew up in Tonga and manages an after-school tennis club while wife Janine (50) grew up on a farm in Cambridge and works as a sonographer at Auckland Radiology Group.
  • They met at Mission Bay Tennis Club, and got engaged on a tennis court two years later.
  • The pair have been engaged for 10 years and hold a number of national age-group tennis titles between them.
  • They have never exchanged Christmas presents, instead they each buy tickets to the ASB Classic.
  • Janine celebrated her 50th birthday in 2017 and, to celebrate, they flew to Melbourne for their first Grand Slam and to see Roger Federer play.

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