The Gourmet Dinner chef this evening was Lesley South, who provided an appetizing Far-Eastern themed barbecue meal. Unfortunately the lighting of the (new club) barbecue caused consternation among the spectators as the wind was blowing exactly towards the clubhouse carrying smoke towards the entire crowd, most of whom rapidly dispersed. Fortunately it did not interfere with the match in play.
The evening’s first match was a mixed doubles quarter final tie between the first and third seeds. Top seeds James and Lesley – also the evening’s Gourmet Chef – were up against Ros and Sultan on a sunny Court 3. Both pairs had recorded convincing wins in the previous round (Anna described Sultan’s and Ros’s victory over her and Jasper as like being run over by a tractor) and this was a fixture that had the potential to go either way. James and Lesley decided to start serving into the sun and in true form (see previous reports ad nauseum), James struggled to serve well and just about clung on to his own service game in spite of facing a few break points. Sultan and Ros returned well to keep the top seeds under pressure, and Sultan, in the second game, showed us how to hold a service game with ease. Lesley, like her partner, got off to a slow service start, but pulled it back with some trademark angles and delicate placement. James and Lesley pulled away to a 2-1 lead and broke Ros and dutifully held the subsequent game to rack up a 4-1 scoreline. Sultan again held his own in the sunshine, and Lesley held her own in the shady end. The first set point for the first seeds came and went, but they grasped the first set on the next attempt, to win 6-2. The second set followed the exact same service hold/break pattern until 5-2 when Ros served to stay in the match. James and Lesley won the next game to record a 6-2 6-3 victory and advance to Thursday’s final. Who they will meet is to be decided on Wednesday. After a quick costume change, Lesley was straight back in the kitchen to organise the evening’s delicious Gourmet Dinner.
The subsequent men’s singles match between between the second seed, Logan Mair, and the seventh, Philip Reid, was expected to be close. However, Logan got off to a slow start in the first set in a match that started off more about placement and not losing points than about hitting winners. Philip took the first set 6-2. In the second set Logan reduced his error rate somewhat and just got the upper hand to take it 6-4. The third set started fairly evenly, but Philip put huge pressure on Logan’s service game which Logan eventually won to take the score to 2 all. But after that Logan was never quite on top, with Philip continuing to apply pressure and Logan making just a few more errors. The inevitable break allowed Philip victory 6-2 4-6 6-3.
The opinion of the crowd is that the result of the semi-final match between Philip and Marcio Sugui will be dependent on how closely each performs to their respective capabilities. If both play as well as they are capable of it should be another cracking match. Tim Simpson is still confidently predicting that he will win his quarter final with Graeme Simpson as Graeme is flying back from 24 hours in Canada, but Sultan Gangji doesn’t think Tim stands much chance. However Graeme can often be a slow starter in the club final, so it is entirely possible Tim could take the first set if he surprises Graeme (and the rest of us) with some solid early play.
Tomorrows schedule is jam-packed, with six matches to complete. So be sure to get there early so as not to miss any of your chosen action. You will be doing well if you can follow all three matches at the same time.