Around 40 people dined on Thursday’s tasty Lamb Tagine, prepared by Moira Duncan, who also provided the red fruits dessert. That is the last of the Gourmet Dinners, but don’t forget to sign up for the Finals Day Tea and Evening Barbecue – or contact Sultan if you can’t sign up by Friday.
There is now one only semi final left to play, at 6:30 pm on Friday, before the line up for Finals Day is complete:-
Although it stopped drizzling some hours before, the grass was really still too damp for play, though one match was played on grass court 3.
Mixed doubles final
The highlight of the evening’s matches was undoubtedly the Mixed Doubles Final between the 4th seeds, Alex Vallmajor & Bianca Gillam, and the top seeds Logan Mair & Posy Frederick. Last year, Logan & Posy were beaten in the final by ex-schoolmates Jasper Tresidder & Margaux Valarche, but Margaux is not available right now, as she has been working in Costa Rica, and is returning in October.
Played on hard court 4, the match was spurred on by a large, very excited and very involved crowd, generally supporting the underdogs, Alex & Bianca.
Both Posy and Bianca have strong games, as do Alex and Logan. Logan & Posy played the more consistently in the first set. Alex & Bianca played well, but didn’t always have the answers to the questions posed. There were some superb doubles rallies to the obvious delight of the crowd. But Logan & Posy took the first set 6-0.
The second set was far more even, with Alex & Bianca hitting a number of winners. On one occasion Bianco hit a super reflex volley from close to the net from a smash by Logan. But Logan & Posy got their noses in front and eventually took the second set 6-4 and take the match 6-0 6-4.
This is Posy’s first title, and she is also in the Ladies Singles Final vs Jen Ehr, and in the Ladies Doubles Final playing with Jen against Becca Vaughan & Bianca.
It is Logan’s second title, the first being the Men’s Doubles in 2017. He also plays Marcio Sugui in the Men’s Singles Final. He and Stephen Cooke are also in the Men’s Doubles semi final to be played Friday evening against Alex Vallmajor & Alan Calleja.
So Logan & Posy still have opportunities to win more events between them.
Semi finals of other events
On hard court 4, the men’s semi final at the top of the draw was between Richard Keep and Marcio Sugui. Both are lefties. Richard has a strong serve and shots and plays when he can, but professional commitments mean he is away from home a lot. Marcio plays a lot, and has a very low rate of unforced errors. Marcio is also capable of upping the pace on occasions.
In the rallies with Marcio, Richard hit a number of good serves and ground stroke winners which Marcio could do little about. But he couldn’t always control the necessary placement and depth needed to beat Marcio, so often made errors when forcing the pace, or when Marcio was able to put him under pressure. For his part, Marcio gave away very few free points. Richard thus struggled to hold serve, and Marcio won the match 6-1 6-1.
After some persuasion from Logan, Joseph Rigal agreed to play his men’s semi final against Logan Mair on grass court 3, instead of waiting for a hard court to become free. Only the area immediately behind the baseline at the west end of court 3 shows significant signs of wear, though the grass was still slightly damp. Thus, there could still be three matches on the go at once, allowing the evening schedule to be completed even though the grass was not completely dry.
Both Logan and Joseph were playing for their first place in the Men’s Singles Final. Over the past few years at the club, Joseph has been improving year by year after focussing less on tennis while previously at university in the USA. Joseph has a hard serve, and good groundstrokes, but can make more errors under pressure than Logan. Logan has a very fast “whack” type first service which is very difficult to get back, but quite often misses, and is consistent with heavy groundstrokes.
In the first set, the first few games went with serve, and the match reached 5 all. Logan then broke Joseph and took the first set 7-5. In the second set, Joseph found it more difficult to hold serve, while Logan was able to keep up the pressure to take it 6-1 for a 7-5 6-1 victory. Logan thus gets to play in the singles final for the first time, against Marcio Sugui.
On hard court 5, Posy Frederick and Marjan Denis resumed their ladies singles semi final. The match was suspended, on Wednesday, with Posy 5-0 in the lead, as the light rain became heavier and showed no signs of abating.
On the resumption, Posy won the additional game to take the first set 6-0. However, Marjan’s resolve stiffened, and the second set was much closer fought. Marjan won quite a few rallies with some strong groundstrokes and placement, but Posy was a little more consistent when it mattered and eventually closed out the match 6-0 6-4.
Posy thus faces Jen Ehr, the top seed, in the final on Saturday. That will be one to watch!
The next match on hard court 5 was the first of the two men’s doubles semi finals – the one in the bottom half of the draw, between third seeds Sultan Gangji & Greg Lim, and second seeds Joseph Rigal & Olly Turner. This match was a partial repeat of last year’s semi final when Joseph Rigal & Alex Vallmajor beat Sultan Gangji & Greg Lim 3-6 7-5 [10-7]. So revenge may well have been in the collective mind of Sultan & Greg.
However, Joseph & Olly got the upper hand in the first set, to win it 6-4, but could not sustain that momentum in the second set. Sultan & Greg know how to change tactics to swing matches, and took the second set 6-2. With the momentum behind them, Sultan & Greg also took the 10 point match tie break 10-4 to go through to the final, where they will meet the winners of Friday night’s match, either Alex Vallmajor & Alan Calleja, or Logan Mair & Stephen Cooke.
Only the mixed doubles final report to add now!