It may feel like Summer is drawing to a close all too soon but it is not going without a fight as the Bank Holiday mixed doubles tournament was a huge success, played out under perfect tennis conditions. The start-time was brought forward an hour to accommodate the size of the draw this year and, after some brief house-keeping and setting down the law by Janice, play got under way promptly at 11am (or 11.30 for Kirsty and Rakesh!).
A bumper entry of 21 pairs was split into 4 groups which were finely balanced and lead to some incredibly close matches and draws. The day was played out with a bit of sun, a bit of cloud, and a bit of wind, but nothing to get in the way of some good tennis, and the pairs were promptly hitting highlight real worthy shots left, right, and centre. Several entries commented that it was the most competitive bank holiday tournament in recent memory.
Once the group stage was complete and the boffins had crunched the numbers, 8 pairs progressed to a quick-fire knock out quarter final until we were left with two sets of semi- finalists. A fiercely contested Group 1 re-match was held between Mai & Andy and Lara & John, with the latter sneaking off with a 6-3 win. An even more closely fought semi-final was between Helen & Will and Jenny & Robin, with Jenny and Robin taking the match with a controversial walk-over on match point at a sudden death deuce at 5-5!
The stage was set for a final fit for the viewing crowds, and again the day did not disappoint. With a tough handicap of -30.3 Lara and John managed to take an early lead, only to wobble when serving for the set. Some deft net play and solid defending from Jenny and Robin almost got them back to level, though Lara and John managed to shut the door on the comeback by winning a sudden death deuce for match point at 5-4 to take the title and the bank holiday calendar grand slam, following their previous May Bank Holiday success. John said he was delighted to have got his hands on the trophy but even more so to have finally got the vanilla and coffee cake he’d been waiting for all day once he was off court! In fact Janis Dodd gave an equally winning performance and put on some delicious meals, treats and cake. Many thanks to her and to Janice for organising and (largely) keeping law and order on the day. It was a fantastic day’s tennis and a great way to close the summer.