Tournament report – Finals day – Saturday 28 July

Posted on Posted in 2018, 2018 Tournament

Finals Day was a little cooler than of late. Although the rain held off and the courts were dry, there was a gusting wind which changed direction frequently, to add variety to the only occasional bad West Heath bounce.

Men’s singles final

This year the men’s singles final was contested by Marcio Sugui, the third seed, and Cedric de la Chaise, the top seed and 2017 champion, who had previously won the men’s singles nine times. The chair umpire was Kevin Ryan. Marcio has a good variety of serves, including a leftie slice and a flat serve, and some useful topspin shots off both wings. Cedric is very consistent with good groundstrokes (mainly topspin) and serve, but one of his significant strengths is a combination of anticipation, speed about court, and the ability to hit with good placement even when stretched. This makes it very difficult to win points off him by hitting topspin winners. Further, Cedric does play some singles at the Cumberland, whereas Marcio rarely does.

Men's singles final.  Cedric and Marcio, umpired by Kevin RyanMarcio kicked off and both players held their first two service games. On his third game, Marcio was 40-0 up, but could not convert it to a game, as Cedric chipped away point by point. From Marcio’s viewpoint this was a real problem, as he hit shots which would have been winners against anyone else, but Cedric typically could chase them down and place a winner to earn the point. Not only this, but Marcio was starting to tire, while Cedric was just warming up. Possibly this might be the doing of Paul, Cedric’s personal trainer at the Cumberland. The net of all this was that, although Marcio stayed competitive in the points, tried his hardest and won points, he could not make them add up to games, and Cedric won 6-2 6-0 to emerge as the Champion.

Sultan Gangji had been rather hoping that Marcio would win. According to Sultan, this was because he thought Cedric, Mark Stapleton and Sultan himself were all on 9 singles tournament wins prior to the match. However, a closer examination of the Champions table showed that Mark won in 93, 96-99, 01-03, 10 and 12, for a total of ten, whereas Sultan had won in 76, 78-81, 83-84, 87 and 90 for a total of nine. Cedric is now also on ten with 04-09, 11, 15 and 17-18. No-one else has more than seven. Thus Sultan’s tally has moved from second, jointly with Cedric and behind Mark, to third on his own, behind Mark and Cedric jointly. Perhaps Sultan’s PhD in chemistry doesn’t necessarily imply an ability to add up accurately. And maybe someone should tell Mark of the threat to his West Heath record to see if he feels compelled to try to restore his advantage in 2019.

Ladies singles final

Elena Valarche, the second seed and 2017 champion, played Andra Marinescu, the third seed, to vie for the title under the watchful eye of Greg Lim. Elena has the capability of mixing it up, but prefers to do her playing from the net if at all possible. Andra has excellent technique and can hit the ball with accuracy and pace. Although she played for the West Heath Ladies I team for a few seasons, this year she has stepped up to play for Cumberland Ladies II, while still playing in matches for West Heath over winter.

Ladies singles final, Andra and Elena, umpired by Greg LimElena did her best to hit deep, flat approach shots and come in, but Andra usually had plenty of time to line up her shot and pass Elena on the side of Andra’s choosing. Sultan had a small bet with me on whether Elena would get a game, and Elena gave him hope a few times by getting 30-0 or 0-30 up, but struggled to convert, often with Andra winnng the next four points outright. Sultan lost his bet, Andra won the match 6-0 6-0, Antoine had to purchase 12 bottles of Rose (see Thursday’s tournament report), and Andra won the tournament without dropping a single game in three matches.

Men’s doubles final

Men's doubles final - Lajos & Cedric, Greg & Marcio, umpired by James McKenzieThis was contested between third seeds, Greg Lim & Marcio Sugui and Cedric de la Chaise & Lajos Szucs, and umpired by James McKenzie. Lajos used to be a tennis coach, and is Mr Consistency, though he does not have as powerful strokes as Cedric. Also he is not as fast around court, not that this is saying very much, as few are. The first set was well contested and very entertaining, though Greg seemed to think he did not play well. Cedric and Lajos had the edge to take it 6-4. In the second set Marcio and Greg put up a good fight. When at the net, Cedric took to feinting towards the middle of the net to cast doubt in the opponents’ minds as to whether he would try to intercept or not. On the deuce side Greg put at least one past him down the line, but on the ad side Marcio preferred to always go crosscourt, even though Cedric left himself exposed and the pass down the line would have been on Marcio’s leftie forehand. Cedric and Lajos won the second set 6-3. and thus the title 6-4 6-3.

Perhaps one day someone will find a way to get Cedric to smile in the photo when he wins!

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Ladies doubles final

Anais Reding & Andra Marinescu, the second seeds, played Elena Valarche & Marjan Denis, the top seeds and 2017 champions under the watchful eye of the umpire Barbara Thomas. Although Elena and Marjan both played well, Anais and Andra were too strong. Anais and Andra won the title 6-2 6-1.

Finals Day tea

Finals Day tea, prizegiving and BBQ

The sumpuous 2018 spread stretched over the full length of two tables. By the end of the afternoon most of it had gone too.

As retiring men’s team captain, James McKenzie was invited to present the trophies this year.
2018 finalists

In the evening there was the traditional West Heath Finals Day BBQ.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the tournament this year, particularly to Sultan and Marjan, the referees.

Pictures

Here’s a link to all the West Heath 2018 tournament pictures on my Dropbox.

Tournament report – Thursday 26 July 2018 (Mixed final & men’s semis)

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Mixed Doubles Final

This was between the fourth seeds, Cedric de la Chaise & Carine Valarche and the second seeds Greg Lim & Marjan Denis. Cedric and Carine had knocked out the top seeds Tim Simpson & Anais Reding in the previous round. The match was expected to be tight.

Carine serveCedric’s strategy was to rely on Carine not to make unforced errors, but not to play aggressively, while he expected to cover the rest of the court and either hit winners outright or set them up for his or Carine’s next shot. However, in the first set there were possibly signs of fatigue from Cedric after his previous singles semi-final. He made a few unforced errors when there was a possibility of hitting a winner. Carine did not have her eye in fully, and Cedric and Carine never got fully going. Carine struggled throughout to get her first serves in and to hold on to her serve. By contrast, Greg and Marjan were much more solid. Greg and Marjan won the set 6-2.

Mixed Doubles Final - Carine, CIn the second set Cedric was able to to step up his game, but not to eliminate the errors completely. The pair equalised at 3 all, but found themselves losing 3-5 until Greg lost his serve to give them 5 all. Then came Marjan’s serve, and Greg, in particular, having mostly played well throughout, started to feel the pressure and dumped two volleys into the net from the left hand side of the court, the second of which should have been relatively straightforward. This eventually resulted in Marjan being broken. Unfortunately, in the next game, Carine could not get her first serves in or deliver a good enough second serve to get into the point properly. Thus, at 6 all, matters rested on the set tie break. Cedric and Carine had the mini-break until Carine had to serve, but she could not take either point. On Greg’s serve Cedric had a shot for a winner to even matters up, but could not get it right, and Greg and Marjan were then able to take the tie-break 7-4 for a 6-2 7-67-4 victory.

Cedric presentation of cake to CedricHad Cedric not had to play the previous singles semi-final, and thus been more likely to play at his best, the pair could have won. Greg and, particularly, Marjan generally played solidly. Carine generally held her own, except, perhaps, on the serve. She also hit some great winners at the net and some great service returns, although Greg managed to ace her a few times on the forehand side. She also surprised Cedric on a few occasions. On one point he was at the net with Carine at the back and the opponents lobbed over him three times, to opposite corners of the court. Carine chased down all three and won the point for her side. You should have seen the look on Cedric’s face. After the match, to mark Cedric’s acceptance of Carine’s invitation to join her in the mixed, Carine presented him with a specially baked thank-you cake!

Gourmet dinner

Rachael Gangji provided the traditional delicious Thursday fish pie Gourmet Dinner, and Lara provided a selection of tempting puddings.

Other matches

In addition to the mixed final the two men’s singles semi-finals were played.

Semi-final Marcio, EdOn grass court 1, Ed Fitzgerald, fresh from playing out of his skin to beat the second seed Greg Lim, had to contend with the third seed Marcio Sugui. Ed continued with his power game and hit a number of winners on both services and groundstrokes. Although Marco denied it, Ed felt that Marcio made only two unforced errors, though Ed himself made rather more. However Marcio does have excellent placement and control of spins, and this did induce a significant number of errors from Ed. As a result, Marcio won the first set 6-1 and the second 6-2.

Semi-final Cedric, PhilipOn centre court, the fifth seed, Philip Reid‘s previously smooth progress towards the final was somewhat disrupted by having to play an actual match against the top seed Cedric de la Chaise. Previously Philip had had a bye in the first round and two walk-overs in the next two rounds. As Philip is very tall, he has a penetrating serve which can set him up for a volley, and can also hit some powerful ground strokes. Cedric can play very consistently. Rather than going for it, Philip played well within himself in the first set, which to a large extent played to Cedric’s strengths. This did not look like the right game plan and Cedric won the first set 6-1. However, in the second set, after going two down, Philip took his power game to Cedric. This did work better, as Philip hit winners and was able to induce errors and short balls from Cedric, but because Philip started late and was not able to apply this game plan consistently, Cedric took the match 6-1 6-3.

BetThere was a big discussion about Elena Valarche’s chances against Andra Marinescu in Saturday’s ladies’ singles final. Andra was playing for West Heath over the winter season, but in the summer season has been playing in the Cumberland ladies second team, which is a higher standard. When asked about the match, Elena herself drew a pair of goggles around her eyes with her hands (implying a double bagel). Tim Simpson tackled Antoine Valarche about it, which resulted in the bet pictured, drawn up on a serviette. The concensus was that Antoine had got the worst of the bet.

Tournament report – Wednesday 25 July 2018

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The Gourmet Dinner last night was a comprehensive, eclectic and delicious Spanish meal prepared by Lesley. See the menu in the post below.

There were two men’s doubles and a ladies singles match played.

James, Ed, Cedric, LajosOn grass court 1 the unseeded Ed Fitzgerald & James McKenzie played against the top seeds Cedric de la Chaise & Lajos Szucs. Although Ed can send down booming serves, and James can swing out his leftie serve, they struggled to hold serve. The rest of Ed’s game relies more on power than consistency, but the top seeds are used to dealing with thhis.
Cedric and Lajos had too much consistency and power and they were able to turn this into pressure. Cedric in particular is very fast around the court and Lajos made few unforced errors to back him up. The top seeds won 6-1 6-2.

whdraw2018marcioserveGreg, Marcio, Dan, SultanOn the centre grass court the spectators were expecting the second seeds Dan Oakley & Sultan Gangji to force an eventual win over the second seeds Greg Lim & Marcio Sugui. However, after his defeat at the hands of the unseeded Ed Fitzgerald in the men’s singles quarter fina, Greg had a point to prove, and Marcio is a strong leftie with enough service variety to make it difficult for the returner (see super back-scatch position in photo on right from Susan Grossman), so they were both up for it. By contrast, Sultan and Dan didn’t seem to be playing at their best – possibly two nights of Gourmet Dinners taking a little more of a toll on the older contingent?

whdraw2018sangriamarciogregsultandanHowever, there was some good tennis played all round, and a number of very entertaining points to divert the crowd’s attention away from the Sangria and nibbles (photo courtesy of Susan Grossman). The first set didn’t go according to plan, with Greg and Marcio breaking and take it 6-3. The second set was even less of a success for Dan and Sultan, enabling Greg and Marcio to take the match 6-3 6-2. Greg and Marcio thus face Cedric and Lajos in the final on Saturday.

Andra and MarjanOn grass court 3, Marjan Denis and Andra Marinescu faced each other for a place in the ladies’ singles final. Although Andra was playing for West Heath ladies’ first team last year, this year she is in the Cumberland ladies second team, so is obviously a strong player, but Marjan was not playing particularly well, particularly on the low balls which perhaps resulted from the greener (and less bouncy) grass coverage on court three compared with courts one and two. Andra won 6-0 6-0.

Tournament report – Monday 23 July 2018

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Jill Elek's creme caramel
Jill Elek’s creme caramel
This evening’s Gourmet Dinner was a tasty Mousaka, cooked by Julia Abbot, followed by creme caramel accompanied by cherries from Jill Elek.

whdraw2018janebarbaraleslesleysallyThere was an early ladies’ doubles match, kindly rearranged from Sunday lunchtime to allow the mixed doubles draw to proceed smoothly to the Thursday final. Sally Tornow and Lesley South took on the third seeds, Barbara Thomas & Jane Boyle. The match was very tight. There were errors on both sides, though Sally’s superb volleys and Lesley’s legendary placement may have affected the results, as might Barbara’s extended lunch the previous day. The first set went 6-3 to Lesley and Sally, but the third seeds came back into their own to take the second set 7-5. Everything rested on the champions tie break. Jane and Barbara did not get going in this, allowing Lesley and Sally to run away with it, Lesley and Sally emerging victorious with a 6-3 5-7 [10-4] win.

whdraw18vandanadhananjaygregmarjanIn the evening mixed, Vandana & Dhananjay Talwar played the second seeds, Marjan Denis & Greg Lim (not on babysitting duty this time). From afar it looked like Dhananjay was hitting winners, but with some errors all around. However, appearances must have been deceptive as Marjan and Greg took the first set 6-1. In the second set the seeds were even more in control, registering a 6-1 6-0 win.

Elena in banana-coloured outfitThe second close match of the day was in the ladies’ singles between Lesley South and the top seed Elena Valarche. Both contestants were keen to promote the sartorial aspects of the match. Lesley made sure it was common knowledge that she had changed her outfit between the midday match and the evening, a period which also included a visit to Costco with Moira Duncan to stock up with ingredients for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s Gourmet Dinners. Perhaps one can infer that Elena was feeling confident she would win the match in two sets, because she had brought with her only tennis two outfits – one for the first set and one for the second set. However the first set outfit was not captured on camera, so Elena insisted on a replacement photo of the very yellow dress and coat brought for dinner.

whdraw2018lesleyelenaOh, I nearly forgot, they also played a tennis match. This was a very competitive battle betweens Elena’s aggressive approach and volley play and Lesley’s ability to spot gaps and hit the ball into the angles. Since neither player has a very hard serve, there were a large number of breaks exchanged. Point on Elena’s serve included the occasional ace, but mostly there would be an awkwardly placed return from Lesley causing Elena to come in on a weak approach, often immediately in front of Lesley, followed by Lesley putting the ball into the gap either to the left or the right of Elena to win the point, and usually the game. On Lesley’s serve Elena often found a strong return which gave Lesley little time to line up an accurate placement before Elena was on to it, with Elena managing to hit the winner on her second shot. Elena won the first set 6-4, but in the second set matters got to 5 all before Lesley made one or two uncharacteristic unforced errors in the last two games, allowing Elena to win 6-4 7-5.

Tournament report – Sunday 22 July 2018

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The day kicked off with a mixed doubles match around noon between Barbara Thomas & Peter Davies, and the third seeds Andra Marinescu & Marcio Sugui. In the first set the seeds made a few unforced errors, and Barbara and Peter had opportunities to win somepoints, but were not able to capitalise on most of them, allowing Andra and Marcio to take the first set 6-0. Barbara kicked off the second set by holding her serve, but, unlike their previous round match, her partner and her were not able to up their game enough to make a dent in the dominance of Marcio and Andra, who took the match 6-0 6-1.

Early afternoon, in the men’s doubles, Paul O’Flynn & Jasper Tressider played the top seeds Cedric de la Chaise & Lajos Scuzs. Paul and Jasper put up strong resistance in the first set, but lost it 6-4. In the second set the top seeds came more into their own and won the match 6-4 6-2.

whdraw2018tomarchiegregcharlieIn the mixed, Sultan Gangji & Moira Duncan played Anais Reding(/Tapper) & Tim Simpson, the top seeds. The match went the way of the men’s doubles above, with a competitive first set won by the top seeds 6-4, and a less even second set giving the top seeds a 6-4 6-2 victory. However, maybe Greg Lim has finally found his true vocation sharing duties with Anais’s husband Tom – encouraging the next generation of tennis players. Though currently only 4 months, Charlie and Archie are clearly taking in the finer points of mixed doubles play.

Tournament report – Thursday 19 July

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There were three matches played tonight under good conditions – not too hot!

whdraw2018lesleyjuliaThe first match was a ladies’ singles between Julia Abbot and Lesley South. According to Julia, after the event, Lesley was more savvy and Julia could not counter that. But apparently Julia won the first two points by returning Lesley’s serve straight down the line, for winners, which pleased Julia no end. Apparently Janet O’Connor had done this to her in the first tournament match Julia had played against her. We all know that Lesley has an excellent appreciation of all the possible angles (including those on court), and enabled her to take the match 6-2 6-1.

After the match was over, Lesley and Julia started producing nibbles, also offered to all passers by. At first it looked like a simple set of bread, humus, olives and carrot sticks, but every 5 minutes one or the other exclaimed “Oh, I’ve got some XXXXX as well!!”, typically followed by a visit to the ‘fridge where the chilled rose was waiting, and the appearance of new types of nibbles. Eventually the Joy Welch table was pretty much full.

whdraw2018brucesultandanjosephWhile all the food was going on, a men’s doubles started on centre court between the second father-and-son team of Bruce & Joseph Rigal and the second seeds, Sultan Gangji & Dan Oakley. Joseph played a good match against Tim Simpson the previous night. Dan has been playing for the first team this year – there was a vacancy because Graeme Pearson is no longer in London. The first set had some interested points, but the seeds mainly got the upper hand and took the set 6-0. In the second set Joseph and Bruce stepped up their game, but couldn’t stem the tide. Sultan and Dan won the match 6-0 6-2.

OK, so why is Sultan holding a ball up in the picture? It’s to do with Joseph’s first serve (see the match report from his singles match the previous day). Sultan thinks Joseph would get a much more consistent first serve if he threw the ball up higher. And certainly a few practice serves seemed to indicate that Sultan was right, as Joseph got increased pace and consistency. Hopefully this will continue in the next round of singles. Just to be on the safe side, Sultan decided not to mention this to Joseph until after their doubles battle was over.

whdraw2018eugenephilippePhilippe Mouly applied late to be in the draw and might well have lucked out, but Stan Vasiliev had been asked by his company at short notice to work in Dubai. So Philippe was able to take his place in the draw while Stan sweats in the high 30s heat in Dubai (which apparently has air conditioning on some streets). Anyway, this meant that Philippe had to play Eugene Berlin in the second round, Eugene having already beaten Fred Davidson in the first round, while Philippe received Stan’s bye. They chose court 3, somewhat awa from the limelight. At first it looked as if Philippe was making too many mistakes, and indeed Eugene took the first set 6-1. In the second set Philippe seemed to be winning most of the points, and indeed raced into a 2-0 lead. But Eugene wasn’t finished and put the pressure on to take six games to Philippe’s two, winning the set 6-4 and the match 6-1 6-4.

Tournament report – Wednesday 18 July

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Four matches were played this evening, a relatively cool one as far as recent temperatures go.

In the warm-up singles, David Cohen played Peter Davies. David started somewhat cold and Peter was able to win points easily with a combination of placement and a few drop shots, enabling Peter to take the first set 6-0. However, David got wise to this strategy and, now fully warmed up, following a few errors from Peter in the first game of the second set, David started to read Peter’s tactics and vary his pace and placement also, making sure he didn’t stay too far back when a drop shot was on the cards, and keeping the ball deeper whenever possible. As a result Peter’s play became more tentative, as the easy points were no longer available, and his error rate went up. However, he also dug in and the score reached 4 all. Peter then broke David again, including a switch to playing for cross-court winners, and was able to hold his own serve for a 6-0 6-4 victory. Philip Reid now awaits.

Following the completion of this match three matches started up simultaneously – a men’s single, men’s doubles and a mixed, giving the band of 8 or 9 spectators plenty of entertainment to choose from.

whdraw2018timjosephCourt one hosted the fascinating, and it turned out to be a very close, encounter between Tim Simpson and Joseph Rigal. Although Tim would have won this match easily a few years ago, Joseph now has more experience and much more powerful shots, but is still a little erratic. In the first set most of Joseph’s first serves were faults, enabling Tim to take advantage of the slower second serve. But Joseph hit some very good shots indeed, often passing Tim when he played an approach shot and came in. It was a ding dong exchange of breaks which reached 6-all. The tie-break was similarly tight, but Joseph just edged it 7-5.

In the second set matters proceeded similarly to 3 all, at which, if we had it right, Joseph broke Tim and held for a 5-3 lead. But Tim stepped up a gear and cut out a few errors, to bring the set back to 6 all. This time Tim’s momentum carried him through the close tie break which he also took 7-5.

The third set was played in increasing gloom, but neither player seemed unduly affected. Tim became more agressive and hit down some good serves, but so did Joseph, and there was also a hard-hitting ground-stroke game going on. But towards the end of the set Joseph had just a slight edge, and pipped Tim to the post 6-4 just before the last playable light receded over the horizon, for a 7-67-5 6-75-7 6-4 victory.

2018-07-18 20.19.01On centre court, the Reid father-and-son partnership (Walter and Philip) took on the third seeds Marcio Sugui & Greg Lim. Walter acquitted himself well with most things in reach, and aided and abetted by a few unforced errors from Marcio and Greg. The result was Philip running round the court at high speed trying to hit winners off balls which were not strictly his, managing it some of the time, but by no means all the time. It worked reasonably well in the first set, though the Reids lost it 6-3. The second set was a combination of Philip not being able to keep his poaching-shot error rate low enough and Marcio and Greg getting more savvy about what was going on, enabling the seeds to take the set and the match 6-3 6-0.

2018-07-18 20.38.09On court 3 the 2016 mixed doubles champions, James McKenzie & Lesley South were playing the fourth seeds Cedric de la Chaise and Carine Valarche. Knowing that her sister Margaux was in Australia for 6 months, and thus not available for this year’s tournament, Carine had taken pity on Cedric and volunteered to play with him. James and Lesley hit some good balls, but never had the sort of edge that Cedric rushing round the court gives you. Although Carine maybe was a little rusty to start with, Cedric more than made up for this. However, after a certain point Carine seemed to stop obeying any instructions from Cedric to “leave” and hit these balls too, often enabling Cedric to finish the point on the next but one shot. The net result was a 6-3 6-3 victory to the seeds, Cedric and Carine.

Tournament report – Sunday 15 July through Tuesday 17 July

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Tuesday 17 July
2018-07-17 19.32.45whdraw2018juliabarbaradrinksToday was a little cooler then of late, and a couple of matches were played in front of a small band of spectators.

In the Mixed Julia Abbot & Eugene Berlin played Barbara Thomson & Peter Davies. Julia and Eugene started strongly, breaking Barbara twice, reaching 5-2 and threatening to take the first set. However, at this point Barbara started going for it, leading the charge during which the pair broke Julia and proceeded to win five games in a row to take the set. The second set got to 4 all via a couple of service breaks. Peter then held, and Eugene was broken to give Barbara and Peter a 7-5 6-5 victory.

whdraw2018loganjamesCedric and Lajos warmed up the adjacent court for the Men’s Singles match between James McKenzie and Logan Mair. James might like to comment on this. James reports that conditions started favourably for both players on Court 1 with plenty of longish rallies, a few drop shots from James and some lovely net play from Logan. As the sun swung round, the sunny end became increasingly unplayable which somewhat made the game harder. In general, it was Logan’s pure class that ensured he came out on the better side of the 6-3 6-4 scoreline.

Monday 16 July
Despite the temperature reaching a high somewhere in London of over 30 degrees, the match tempo picked up, at least in the Men’s Singles.

Paul O’Flynn was hoping to neuter Walter Reid‘s wide wingspan in their singles encounter. It looks like Paul’s ability to hit with pace coincided with a modicum of placement to give him victory over Walter by 6-1 6-3.

Jasper Tresidder took on James McKenzie. Although Jasper has some strong shots, there’s no doubt than James has more match savvy about him, accumulated over the years, and probably enhanced by having to lead the second team and evaluate players for matches. The match started with two tight deuce/advantage games with break points aplenty for both players. But a match of youth versus experience helped James to keep the scoreboard ticking over, despite some excellent shots from the promising younger player. James won 6-1 6-2.

Fred Davidson entered this year and faced Eugene Berlin in the first round. It looked like a good battle. Eugene took the first set 6-2, but Fred must have warmed himself up during that time, and went on to the attack during the second set, which he won 6-4. Eugene won the last set, but the writing on the draw sheet was not very readable. My guess was 6-1.

Eugene faces Philippe Mouly in the second round. Philippe was a keen last-minute entry and replaced Stan Vasiliev in the draw. Stan has been asked at very short notice to fill in for collegues abroad, nominally for three months, but we will have to see. If you think it is hot here, the temperature during Stan’s first day (Monday) working in Dubai was 38 degrees C.

Sunday 15 July
There was a slow start to the Tournament over the weekend – just a couple of matches played on the Sunday. Whether this was due to the exceptionally hot weather or the alternative pull of the Wimbledon Men’s semi finish plus Ladies’ Singles final on the Saturday, and of the Djokavic vs Anderson final on the Sunday.

It’s a shame there aren’t more in this year’s Ladies’ Single draw. Charles Rubinstein wanted to know why Andra Marinescu was not seeded higher than three. The reason is that she didn’t play in the event last year. Her first opponent in this year’s draw was Soo Teng Lee, and on Sunday Andra proved too strong for Soo Teng, as Charles would have predicted.

whdraw18jameslesleyelenaandmissingedThere was also a Mixed Doubles match between Elena Valarche & Ed Fitzgerald and Lesley South & James McKenzie. James and Lesley won it 6-2 6-4. Unfortunately (?) we were at Wimbledon (!) so didn’t see the match – but by some accounts it was more gripping than the men’s singles finals. Ed’s serve proved once again to be a shot to be reckoned with, as he managed on numerous occasions to effect a devilish swing in the deuce court which saw it hit the side fence before Lesley’s racket. The first two games were service holds, before Elena was broken and Lesley held her serve. The pattern was repeated and James and Lesley took the first set 6-2. The second set started in much the same way, with the score advancing to 3-1, but soon become 4-4 with a hold by Elena and break of Lesley’s serve. At 4-4 it was nicely poised but unfortunately Ed couldn’t find the angles on serve and was broken, which left James to serve it out from the newly-christened Pavilion End. Duly achieved, James and Lesley progressed to the next round, winning 6-2 6-4. Whilst disappointed, Elena is looking forward to the next round where her daughter, Carine, awaits with Cedric.

OK, Ed is currently missing from the photo, but James McKenzie says he can fix that!


Yes, I can!

JLEE

Joy Welch

Posted on Posted in 2018

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The American tournament on June 23rd was held in honour of former member Joy Welch. She kindly left the club a legacy in her will, which sponsored the tournament and provided the club with some new garden furniture. In addition, a ‘joie de vivre’ rose was unveiled at the tournament.

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A marvellous tea was organised by Lesley, with individual contributions from many members. The tournament was organised ably, as ever, by Peter. Many thanks to both!

Sultan provided a fitting speech regaling the audience with anecdotes about Joy such as her fondness for gardening and her inimitable style of tennis. She was a multiple champion, winning singles (1960, 1970), doubles (1963, 1970, 1972, 1976) and mixed doubles (1964) to complete the set.

We trust that her memory lives on at West Heath.

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