Today was another warm and sunny day, though nothing compared to Wednesday’s predicted 30 degrees C. There were a lot of people around, including those playing in the seven matches and many others who had come for social tennis. Geoff Isaacs brought a good selection of his extended family too.
The first pair of matches were in the men’s singles. In the absence of the 2015 Champion, Cedric de la Chaise, Graeme Pearson is this year’s top men’s seed and put in his first tournament appearance this afternoon. Ed Fitzgerald was competing against him in the singles. Ed won three games in the first set, but none in the second, for a 6-3 6-0 win for Graeme.
The concurrent men’s singles match was altogether a longer affair. Jason Traub was playing Greg Lim, the fifth seed. The first two sets were very tight, with Jason taking the first 7-5. Then Greg stepped up his level slightly to take the second set to a tie-break, which he won 8-6. In the third set the contestants traded breaks to get to 4 all, whereupon Jason held his serve. After two and a half hours of playing Greg was then a little nervous on serving to save the match, and played some tentative strokes on one or two points which resulted in Jason breaking to take the match 7-5 6-7[6-8] 6-4.
The next matches up were men’s doubles. The first featured the top seeds, Sultan Gangji & Graeme Pearson, against Mark Coxall & Takuya Tonoshima. The challengers put up a brave fight in both sets, but could not hold on to their serves, and the top seeds won 6-2 6-2.
The second men’s doubles was deferred until teatime (which is nominally 4 pm but often tends to be later) to allow Jason a little recovery time. It consisted of Stan Vasiliev & Jason Traub taking on the fourth seeds Marcio Sugui & Tim Simpson. The challengers seemed to be winning quite a few points, particularly when Stan hit out, but both Stan and Jason were also making a number of unforced errors. Some of the spectators were a little surprised that Marcio and Tim won the first set 6-3. In the second set matters were a little less even, with the seeds getting the upper hand. Stan and Jason still hit some good shots but the outcome was becoming more certain as the pressure increased and they went down 6-1 in the second set for a 6-3 6-1 victory to the seeds.
Before the second men’s doubles match finished a mixed double match started up alongside it. Rachel Savin & Philip Reid played Julia Abbot and Geoff Isaacs (plus some of his family supporters). Geoff and Julia took a while to warm up allowing Rachel and Philip to take the first set 6-1. Rachel generally held her own and Philip’s long reach enabled him to put away a lot of volleys from the net. Geoff and Julia played better in the second set, but could not stop Rachel and Philip who took the second set 6-3 for a 6-1 6-3 win.
Logan Mair, the second seed had spent most of the day at Lords, witnessing an England whose second-innings wickets increasingly fell at a run total less than was required to match the Pakistan team final total. By the time the eighth English wicket fell with 80 odd runs still required, Logan decided the writing was on the wall and headed towards the club to play his singles match against Peter Davies, having consumed, he says, only a couple of beers all day in the hot sunshine. In the first set, Logan was playing well within his capability, whereas Peter was stretched to win points and games, though he also managed to set up an occasional winner which he then missed more often than not. Logan also made the occasional error while winning the first set 6-2. In the second set Peter struggled to hold serve and looked like losing 6-1,. But despite Logan serving at full speed in his final service game, Peter managed to return serve and break Logan in his last service game to make Logan’s margin of victory slightly less one-sided at 6-2 6-2.
On to the Gourmet dinners!