We’re delighted to write that our Finals Day tournament was a great success. The standard of play in all five finals was a credit to the club and a joy to watch for the many who came along to do so. Refreshments and food were kindly catered by Rhona, but with special thanks to Tony for his delicious guacamole. A further special thanks to Tony for helping the tournament committee so much throughout the year.

Some statistics: this was probably the largest field of entrants that the club has had in its tournaments, and hopefully everyone who entered enjoyed it throughout the summer. There were a total of 70 entries; 22 in the men’s singles alone. Last year’s ladies singles sadly was not contested; this year we had four entrants. Entrants ages ranged from Jake Wilson (10) to John Morgan (xxx?).

By so many entering, the tournament achieved what it set out to do, bring people together to play tennis in a spirit of friendly competition. Although it was all about taking part, it also meant that by the time of the finals, the tension was mounting. We were not disappointed.

The sun shone on us all day, and we started off with the men’s singles and the ladies doubles.

The men’s singles was an intense contest between Patrick Dear and Hugh Muir –Little. Incredibly, in all the preceding rounds the ties had been decided in two sets, but the final went deep into the third set, with Patrick eventually sneaking home 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 after a gruelling one hour 30 minutes. A worthy club champion.

The ladies doubles was won in two sets by Jo Rohan and Alison Hicks 6-2 6-2, but the score does not do justice their opponents, Kate Entwisle and Rhona Jardella. They were all very tight games, and plenty of deuces. A great final.

Those who are lucky enough to witness the men’s doubles finals saw play of the highest standard, brutal hard-hitting, mixed with clever intercepts and some extraordinary recoveries. This was always going to go to a third set, which Simon Wilson and Trevor Barnes managed to see through, beating Hugh Muir-Little and Richard Sabin 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. An exhibition match.

The ladies singles could not be described as brutal, but it was certainly tough, lasting nearly three hours. Almost every rally was over 20 shots, with an exhausted Jo Rohan eventually beating her doubles partner Alison Hicks 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Another worthy club champion.

We also had a wonderful display by three of our star juniors, Joel, Jake and Sadie. In the warm-up, Sadie thrashed Patrick Dear 7-0, with Joel easily seeing off Trevor Barnes 7-1. Jake made short work of his father, beating Simon Wilson 7-3. The juniors then played each other in a round-robin, Sadie narrowly losing to Jake, who went on to win the final against Joel. If you haven’t seen any of these juniors play, do so. Hard serving, with strong ground shots on both the forehand and backhand, they were extraordinary. Our best adult men could find no way through, with the delicate drop shot a particularly futile exercise against such young legs. The committee will soon have to come up with ways to stop them winning all the adult tournaments!

The mixed doubles was the grand finale of the afternoon, with Rhona Jardella and Trevor Barnes facing Simon and Marie Wilson. Although Rhona and Trevor showed their experience to come through 6-2, 6-4, the Wilsons used all their skill and athleticism to push them hard to the very end, and had one or two games gone the other way, so would the result have done. As the couples shook hands over the net, the heavens opened. Great match; great timing.

Can next year be even better? We shall see…

Best wishes,

Jonathan & Gerry