The Club was lucky to get a sunny day for its annual tournament finals which this year included the Veterans events. The good weather was matched by the high standard of tennis. Unfortunately the program was marred by two injuries. Nanami Yamaguchi a ladies doubles finalist had to retire with a damaged back after 3 Games. In addition David Morley tore his hamstring just before the end of his handicap doubles match and was unable to take part in the restricted mixed doubles.
The most hardworking player of the day was Alan Brown who occupied the grass courts from 2.00pm till Dusk and then finished his last match around 10pm! During this time, he only just lost the Men’s Open singles in the third set by 6 games to 8 to Sam Tirodkar. Alan then went on to play with Sam in the Men’s Open Doubles where they beat Vincent Gaugry and Jack Slaughter 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 in what some consider to be the best match of the day! It was full of incredible smashes, attacking volleys and defensive lobs. Alan then completed his days work by winning the Mixed Open Doubles with Anneka Els where they beat Alice Bardaux and Jack Brooker. They had started outside on the grass but were forced to finish the match in the Dome due to poor light. Final score was 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.
Sam Tirodkar also had a busy and successful day winning the Men’s Open Singles 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 in very closely fought match. Having won his first Men’s Open Title in 2002 he has now won the title 7 times and been a runner-up on 6 occasions. He followed this Victory up with a win In the Men’s open doubles where he partnered with his opponent Alan Brown.
Mili Shah was the outstanding Ladies player. She won the singles 6-2, 6-1 by beating Alice Bardaux, who has just joined the Club this year. Mili also won the Ladies doubles with her partner Claire Espinasse (herself a club Singles champion) where they defeated Nanami and Teschi Namaguchi by way of retirement as Nanami had picked up and injury early on in the match. Mili has now won 3 Ladies Open Titles since 2006 and won Ladies Open Doubles and Mixed open many times with different partners over several years. Clearly she will be in demand next year for title hopefuls.
For the first time ELTC hosted a Ladies and Men’s Singles Veteran tournament. The Men’s Veteran Singles was won by the ever impressive Richard Leslie by beating Peter Buck 6-1, 6-2. Having already set a club record for winning the Men’s Open Singles in 5 consecutive years between 1977 and 1981 he has started his veteran Campaign off with the same intentions. His record in the Men’s Open Singles remains to this day. It was fascinating to watch him in action again as he controlled the match even if he looked a bit older and a bit stiffer after all these years.
The Ladies Veteran final was won by Toshiko Suzuki where she beat Cecily Mathias 6-1, 6-2. Toshiko is one of our many Japanese members and she only joined this year so that’s a good start for her at ELTC.
Our Handicap tournament which allows people of varying standards to compete against each other was also toughly contested. The Men’s Handicap singles was won by the impressive Rory Knibbs who at just 15 was able to beat last year’s winner Charles Chukwuedo 6-3, 8-6. Youth triumphed over experience on this occasion.
Louisa Hentges played in two of the handicap events. She lost her singles to 6-2,6-2 to Jessie Hiney but went on to win her Ladies Handicap Doubles with her partner Eilis Kerr in a close match which ended 7-5, 6-3.
Men’s handicap doubles was won by Marc Barnard and Iain Britton where they beat David Morley and Ben Whitney 6-3, 6-1.
The most convincing victory of the day was in the Mixed Handicap doubles where Helene Navarre and her partner Jerome Dumont beat Rebecca and David Stiff 6-0, 6-1.
Following the Tennis the club laid on some food and entertainment for its members and guests with a BBQ, Ice cream Tent and a well stocked bar for the Champions to celebrate their victories and runners up to console themselves… There is always next year!
Liz Hexter 20-07-2015