For the second weekend in a row both our mens and ladies tennis teams were representing the club in matches in the Team Tennis event. Having had an emphatic win last weekend, our National mens team had a weekend off with no match scheduled, but our Women’s teams had a match as did the mens in the Regional and County divisions.
Our ladies team, playing in the national division for the first time ever having been promoted last year, unfortunately lost 5-1 in their first match after some very close matches. They were determined to improve in their second match and headed to Essex to play against Woodford Wells.
All four singles went on to start, against a strong Woodford Wells team. Danielle Hack played at number one for us and showed great fighting spirit and power play against a highly ranked player. It was a great match to watch but their No 1 was just too strong. Next up was our veteran player Lydia Morris, who brought with her 20 years experience in this competition however it was clear that whilst it was a good match, experience was no comparison for consistency!
At no 3 we had Natalie Allport, this was Natalie’s first match representing the club and it was great to have her there as part of the team – she also brought with her her mum, dad and sister who’s support we very much appreciated. Natalie similarly came up against an opponent that was just too strong although she was really working her way into the match in the second set playing some great tennis. Gisela Castany played at No 4 for us, and she wasn’t holding out much hope having been away recently and not practised too much, but clearly the break worked wonders and she came out fighting and in true Spanish style (she is originally from Barcelona) grit and determination pulled out a much needed win for STSC. Well done Gisela!
So 3-1 down after the singles and we were straight on for the doubles – not least because it was too cold to hang around!
Gisela and Natalie teamed up at second pair and with lots of lively feet and crossing at the net started well, especially having not played together before. The opposition had clearly played together before though and worked their way into a winning position taking the match 6-3, 6-1 in the end.
Finally Dani and Lydia teamed up against their number 1 & 2 singles players who were always going to be tough to beat. Whilst the first set saw some good tennis it went fairly comfortably to the Woodford Wells pairing 6-2 However, Dani and Lydia felt they were right in it and having not played together for a while were just finding their feet….and their A game! It was a tight second set which Woodford Wells were always up in – until the very end when some how, though Dani’s power play and positivity at the net they managed to turn it around and take it to a championship tie-break. The tie-break saw much of the same competitive good tennis that had been seen throughout the day but unfortunately we just couldn’t hold onto the momentum and Woodford wells won it 10-6.
So, unfortunately it was another 5-1 loss for the ladies who are still finding their feet at this level but there is still a way to go so please, when there is a home match, keep the support coming!
Our thanks in particular go to Natalie who came to play for us when we needed her even though she then had to dash straight off to get back for a fast 4 competition at Sutton and for her mum for not going with her but staying with the team to support us in the doubles!
With our National team being afforded a Sunday off after the withdrawal of A1 pharmaceuticals I was privileged to watch John Richards take his unbeaten Regional side to Reigate where we lost a well contested match by 4 rubbers to 2.
Alex Jhun completed a very good win against Samm Butler 7/6 6/2 in the 1 v 1 game. Seasoned observers will remember Brandon Murphy beating Samm at our Boadicea British Tour last year in 3 tough sets. A good win for Alex
Keelan Oakley lost to Barry Fulcher in the 2 v 2 rubber 6-3 7-6 and Ivor Mandic lost to Adam Skalsky 6-3 6-3 in the 3 v 3 match. Again just a single break of serve in both Ivor’s sets & only 1 in Keelan’s match. Nik Herbring anchored our team at 4 & lost 7/6 7/6 with no breaks of serve throughout the match. The solid serving was helped by extremely fast artificial clay which did not allow any rallies. The doubles was shared with Nik & Ivor recording a straight sets win over Barry Fulcher & Jack Howarth. A good win for our lads. Keelan was hampered early in his dubs match with Alex and ultimately reverted to underarm serving. Ultimately beaten but very competitive
Kicking off their season was Alastair Tiddy’s County side who recorded a solid 5-1 victory over St George’s Hill.Ivor Mandic led the way with a 6-0 6-0 victory over Mike Appleton closely followed by Jake Whalley who defeated George Robinson 6-0 6-1. Luca Battitsa who we were delighted to welcome to our team enjoyed a 6-1 6-4 win over Jeremy Fleming & Janiv Shah worked very hard to defeat Chris Jenkins 6-3 7-5. It was a pleasure to watch Janiv & Luca who are both new to our Club teams. They lost their dubs but showed ample potential to know they will add to our incredible strength in depth.Alastair & Jake combined to secure our 5th rubber.
Our next matches are 28th April when our Men’s County team play Purley. National Men & Regional Men return on 12th May. Watch out for more details.