The dodgy weather this evening meant that only two of three matches were completed. The third was abandoned due to bad light in the final set.
For the Gourmet Dinner, Julia Abbot prepared a delicious moussaka, and Carine Valarche provided complementary Greek delicacies of figs and baklava.
What a complete men’s singles quarter-final it was – the match of the tournament so far – between the fourth seed, Greg Lim and the fifth seed Logan Mair.. Both players were going for it in a way we did not see yesterday between Gabor Felsen and Marcio Sugui. No quarter was asked for or given. Proof of the fact that Greg was executing split steps on Logan’s shots emerged accidentally when a photo was taken on an adjacent court of the end of a match! Either that or he has learned to walk on air.
In the first set Logan’s first serve had a few problems, and this was enough for Greg to be able to break him. Despite his languid style, Greg is very capable of hitting powerful flat winners off second serves, and it was no surprise he was able to break and take the set 6-3. But Logan’s first serve improved in the second set, which put the pressure more on Greg, who started to miss a little more. Logan took the second set 6-4, preparing the way for a thriling conclusion to the match.
In the third set Logan’s first serve was firing on all four cylinders, and Greg could often not return it at all. Further, Logan was putting the pressure on and Greg found it increasingly difficult to resist. At 2-5 down Greg was feeling the pressure so much that he double faulted three times to give Logan match points. To see the culmination of the match click on video of match point. (Sorry, had to move the embedded video that was here because the web hosting company reported it was likely to use all our allowed bandwidth before the end of the month!)
Logan won the third set 6-2 for a 3-6 6-4 6-2 victory.
On seeing himself serving on video for the first time, Greg’s immortal quote was : “That’s a really weird service action”!!!
In the completed match on court 2, the first mixed doubles seeds, Elena Valarche and Marcio Sugui were challenged by James McKenzie and Lesley South (of doubles “yours!” fame). This was a pretty even affair. The top seeds started well, winning the first set 6-2, but there were numerous rain delays (although the singles on court 1 carried on through them all). In the second set Elena’s dynamic play was less evident, as the possibility of slipping increased. James, however, played better, continuing the running, and Lesley retrieved a number of shots that you would not necessarily expect her to, and returning them with her customary tactical flair for placement. The challengers narrowly took the second set 6-4.
In the ensuing champions tie break Lesley and James took a lead of around 4 points. Bearing in mind that the previous year Elena and Marcio had retrieved a champions tie break from a seemingly impossible position, we were all expecting a comeback. But it did not arrive, and James and Lesley deservedly won the match for playing beyond normal expection with a score of 2-6 6-4 [10-7].
Elena Valarche and Lesley South then faced each other again, this time in the singles. Elena won a tight first set 7-5. In the second set Lesley perhaps remembered that it was better to run around a bit more in singles, and proceded to amaze us all with her retrieving, aided and abetted by anticipation which has been honed over many years. At one point Elena slipped and asked for the match to be adjourned for the evening, but the hard-hearted officials declined the request. The second set went to Lesley 6-2.
The third set got only as far as 2 all before the light on the overcast evening became too dim, leaving all to play for after a 5-7 6-2 2-2 (to Lesley) score line.