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There were seven matches played today, breaking the back of the first round matches.
The first match, during the day, was a mixed between Brian Coffey & Carmen Martinez and second seeds, Greg Lim & Marjan Denis. Brian and Carmen are a new partnership this year, having one win behind them coming into this match. The second seeds are a well established pair with plenty of experience, and some winning shots between them. I wasn’t able to get much detail out of Greg as to what happened, but the result was 6-0 6-1 to Greg and Marjan.
In the evening, most of the courts were in use for matches.
On the far hard court, there was a men’s doubles between Matt Wasser & Eugene Belin, and Jasper Tresidder & Joseph Rigal. Jasper and Joseph have a lot of pace on most strokes between them, though this often comes with a number of unforced errors. Matt and Eugene put up a good fight, but were outgunned. Jasper and Joseph won 6-1 6-1.
The pair now face Joseph’s father Bruce, playing with Aaron Watkins for what could well be a fascinating needle match!
There was a fascinating men’s doubles on grass court 3 between Bruce Rigal & Aaron Watkins, and the very experienced second seeds Jeff Fine & Geoff Isaacs. Bruce has been playing pretty regularly and has become much more consistent as result. Aaron was a bit of an unknown, but proved to have a penetrating first serve and a consistent game. Meanwhile, Jeff and Geoff are hugely consistent and experienced.
The first set was pretty tight, with the seeds seemingly having a slight edge, but the score reached 5 all, at which point the Jeffs (Geoffs) took it 7-5. In the second set Bruce and Aaron stepped up their game and took it 6-2.
In the ensuing Champions Tie Break, the Jeffs took an early lead of 5-1, and while this was whittled down, seemed well in control with a couple of points in hand towards the end. However, Bruce and Aaron somehow pulled it back to 9 all, then took the final two points, taking out the number two seeds 5-7 6-2 [11-9], and paving the way for a semi-final clash with Bruce’s son Joseph, playing with Jasper Tresidder.
On grass court 1, Pavel Markiewicz & Moira Duncan played Charles Rubinstein & Eloise Wedgwood in the mixed. Pavel is new to grass, and has some strong groundstrokes and serves. But though showing good potential on the surface, Pavel can be inconsistent, with a number of errors thrown in. Moira is consistent, with a strong forehand. Eloise is relatively new to grass, but has been playing quite a bit of singles on the hard courts. Charles is a wily customer, perhaps having learned his craft from Lesley South, and expert in the angled soft shots. On grass, he tends to position himself on the service line and mainly volley from there, which works very well unless opponents take specific measures to counter it.
Since Eloise was playing today with the very consistent and reliable Charles, she grew into this match, chasing balls all over the court, hitting some very clean strokes, and clearly very much enjoying herself. The match was relatively close, but Charles and Eloise kept up the pressure and made fewer mistakes in the end, to take it 6-4 6-4.
In a mixed on hard court 4, Lesley South & Jonathan Bell took on the third seeds Sue Ehr & Ed Fitzgerald. Backed by the consistent Jonathan, on grass, Lesley South, can fully utilise here excellent angled short shots, and these can be pretty devastating. But on a hard court the ball bounces much slower and higher, and mobile opponents can run rather more of them down. Both Ed and Sue are highly mobile, with some very strong groundstrokes, so would have run these shots down. At well over 6 feet, Ed is also pretty difficult to beat on the lob.
The match took some time (as matches on a hard court tend to), but the third seeds won it comfortably enough in the end with a 6-3 6-2 victory.
In the singles, Aryell Mossaioff played the fifth seed, Philip Reid. Aryell played a strong game, and forced a number of error from Philip. But Philip has pacy groundstrokes and serves, and just had too much for Aryell. Philip won the match 6-2 6-4.
In the final singles of the evening, Peter Farrell was up against James Low. Peter hasn’t played much on grass recently, but discovered West Heath when cycling around Hampstead and wanted to come and play on grass. James plays regularly for the second team, and is well used to both grass and competition
After viewing James in the knockup, Peter decided he had to go for it. He chased balls and returned quite a few he was not expected to, won a number of points off James, and forced deuces, but didn’t pick up enough games to make an impression on James. As a result, James won the match 6-1 6-0. James commented it didn’t seem as one sided as the score might indicate.