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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Finals Day, Saturday 14 August 2021

Although the finals day weather started out overcast, by the time the tennis was well under way, it turned sunny.

Men’s Singles Final

The Men’s Singles Final was contested between last year’s champion, Marcio Sugui, and the fifth seed, Philip Reid, who beat Greg Lim, the second seed, and last year’s runner up, on his way to the final.  It was umpired by Greg Lim.  Philip’s fiancee (as of a week ago) Martha, father Walter, and other family members came along to watch Philip contest the final.  Marcio takes tennis very seriously, has been playing a lot, including external tournaments, is clearly match fit, and has also been working towards his part 3 coaching qualification, so set up a video of the match.

Philip played very well, retrieved wide balls, and won a decent share of points. But he doesn’t have quite the accuracy, pace, match tightness, and perhaps determination of Marcio. Philip made a good start, but Marcio warmed up, dug in, and just gained an edge. Marcio won the match 6-3 6-3.

“I reckon Marcio, but what do you think Sultan?”

Ladies’ Singles Final

This was contested between the top seed, Katie Baston, and the second seed, Rebecca Vaughan and umpired by Marjan Denis.  Rebecca is very consistent and tactically astute, but Katie has a more powerful serve and groundstrokes, and would be expected to out-hit her.  However, the courts still had a base of moist earth, though the grass itself was completely dry, and this resulted in slightly lower bounces, which does not suit Katie’s topspin groundstrokes.  Katie was supported by her parents, on a weekend visit to London.

Rebecca’s strategy was not to take unwarranted risks, but to expect Katie to make errors.  Rebecca played solidly throughout the match.  Katie just could not get her game going, neither on the serve nor groundstrokes, serving a number of double faults and consistently hitting low-bouncing groundstrokes out.  She won enough points to get one game in the first set, to lose it 6-1. 

Towards the end of the second set, Katie showed signs of making fewer unforced errors.  It always looked as if she might suddenly find her timing and confidence, even at 4-0 down, and reverse the trend.  But, though she got a game in the end, the reversal never happened, and Rebecca won the match 6-1 6-1, the reverse of some pre-match predictions.

Ladies’ Doubles Final

After the reverse in the singles, the singles finalists had further business to finish.  Having defeated the second seeds, Marjan Denis & Sue Ehr in the semi-final, Barbara Thomas & Rebecca Vaughan now had to play the top seeds Elena Valarche & Katie Baston.  You might think that Katie would have been completely thrown by the big defeat in the singles, but that did not seem to be the case.  There had been no tears, nor any semblance of a hangover from it.  As Kipling said, victory and defeat are both imposters.

The umpire was Sarah Hird. In the doubles, both Rebecca and Katie played very well, and were clearly in their element.  If anything, Rebecca played better than in the singles, but the change in Katie was nothing short of transformational.  She was particularly keen to get to the net and hit some volley winners, in tandem with her partner Elena, who can invariably be relied on to put them away too.  The serve and groundstrokes were also much more solid.Barbara hit good groundstrokes too, ably covering the baseline when Rebecca went to the net. Elena went to the net as often as possible.

The first set was very close up to 5 all.  But then Rebecca and Barbara broke serve to take it 7-5.  In the second set, Elena and Katie stepped up their game, and applied the pressure from the net, winning it 6-2 and preparing the way for a Champions Tie Break.  This replaces a deciding set, and is used in all doubles matches in the tournament.

The Champions Tie Break is first to ten points, but to win, you also need to be two points in front.  From something like 7 all, the score reach 8 all, 9 all, 10 all then 11 all.  It could have gone either way, but Elena and Katie did not blink first, and took the last two points in a nerve-wracking ending to win the match 5-7 6-2 [13-11].

Katie’s explanation for the transformation change in form in the doubles is that she now had a duty to her partner not to dwell on any mistakes and play one point at a time, a motivation lacking in the singles.  It certainly did the trick.

Men’s Doubles Final

The unseeded pair Joseph Rigal & Jasper Tresidder played the top seeds and 2020 champions Sultan Gangji & Greg Lim. Joseph and Jasper are well know hard hitters, but in the past have been somewhat inconsistent. However, both worked their way up through the junior ranks, both are now playing pretty regularly and becoming less error prone. Jasper has no experience of team tennis, but Joseph has been playing regularly for the second team, and once or twice now for the first team. Meanwhile, Greg and Sultan are experienced first team players.

The first set was a bit of an embarrassment for the champions. Joseph and Jasper dominated the middle of the court and the net, and made hardly any unforced errors. They also dominated Sultan’s serve, winning the set 6-2. They hardly put a foot wrong.

In men’s doubles, with the strong expectation of holding serve, a few points either way can make a lot more difference than they might in singles, at least at club level.

The domination of the younger pair continued into the early part of the second set, after which Sultan and Greg changed things up a bit. Pace down the middle of the court wasn’t going to work as both Jasper and Joseph have quick reflexes and good timing, to they started hitting more balls down the lines to stretch Joseph and Jasper sideways. On their own serve, they started adopting an Australian “I” formation. Oh, and crossing their fingers, hoping for Joseph and Jasper’s purple patch to come to an end, with a bit of help from the tactical changes.

The tactics worked, with Joseph and Jasper making just a few more errors. The match situation stabilised somewhat and Sultan and Greg achieved a break to go 4-2 up. But Joseph and Jasper pulled it back for 4 all. In the crucial 9th game of the set, Sultan and Greg broke again and took the set on Sultan’s serve with the help of the Australian formation.

In the ensuing Champion’s tie break, the momentum was now with Sultan and Greg, and they took it [10-5] to win the match 2-6 6-3 [10-5] and retain their crown.

Prizegiving

Sultan made a short speech thanking everyone involved in the tournament. Moira Duncan, our chairman, thanked Sultan for organising the tournament, and Jane Boyle presented the prizes.

Runners up and winners

Barbecue

Finale

The Mixed Doubles Final was completed on the evening of Tuesday 31st August. See the match report for Thursday 12 August for the result.

Thank you everyone who has contributed to the tournament. I hope you have enjoyed the reporting, and look forward to entertaining you again in 2022.

Yours, Peter (tournament reporter, lighting engineer and furniture restorer)

p.s. All the photos used in the match reports, plus one or two others, can be found HERE. Uncropped versions and unused photos are available on request.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Thursday 12, Friday 13 and Tuesday 31 August 2021

Thursday Gourmet Dinner

This evening’s Gourmet Dinner was a tasty lamb tagine, provided by Moira Duncan. Marjan Denis supplied apricots and ice cream.

Some time after the Gourmet Dinner was completed, there was a very clear view of Jupiter (large) and Saturn (smaller) from the club later in the evening, when the clouds lifted.

During the Gourmet Dinner, Sultan and Rachael treated everyone to champagne as an early celebration of their thirtieth wedding anniversary on the Friday.

(photo by Susan Grossman)

Rachael serves wedding anniversary champagne a day early
Thursday tennis

The weather was decent. As well as one of the two ladies’ doubles semi-final deferred from Monday, two men’s singles semi-finals were played on grass, following by the mixed doubles final.

In the first of the ladies’ doubles semi-finals to be played, the second being scheduled for Friday evening, the fourth seeds, Moira Duncan & Lesley South were up against top seeds Elena Valarche & Katie Baston. Lesley and Moira are both consistent. Moira has a good forehand, and Lesley finds some super angles. Elena has very aggressive net play, and Katie has good accuracy and pace. However Moira and Lesley didn’t give up, and created some good openings to win points. This gave them a couple of games in each set. But Elena and Katie were too strong most of the time, and won the match 6-2 6-2.

The first of the men’s singles semis was between the fifth seed, Philip Reid and the second seed, Greg Lim. Philip is starry eyed at the moment, after he and Martha got engaged at the weekend.

This may be a good time to remind everyone that Philip is the holder of the West Heath boys’ singles title and cup, since the last time the children’s tournament was run was in 2006! Not only that, but Philip beat Vivek Sood in the adult event that year. Vivek asked for a rematch, and Philip won that too.

Both players have big serves, and groundstrokes, though Philip uses more topspin, and Greg tends to use flat strokes, which rely on good timing for accuracy of placement.

In the first set, both players took a while to warm up. Greg played a little better than Philip, using his flat strokes with pace to hit the ball beyond Philip’s reach. Greg won the first set 6-3.

But Philip was growing in consistency as the match went on, which put pressure on Greg. Perhaps due to a lack of singles play since the last tournament, specifically, singles play on grass, Greg missed the occasional opportunity for a drop shot winner off a shorter ball from Philip, and couldn’t eliminate the errors, especially from balls with lower bounces. Philip took the second set 6-3.

The singles events are best of three tie-break sets. The final set was similar to the second set, with Philip playing the more consistent tennis, and Greg missing the occasional shot. Although, it was a little closer, Philip won the set 6-4 for a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

In the other semi-final, the third seed, Logan Mair, had a crack at last year’s champion, Marcio Sugui. Marcio is taking his part 3 coaching qualification and has been playing a lot recently, and had been rumoured to have tennis elbow. But he showed no signs of this during the match. Marcio has a strong leftie game, with swing serves. Logan can hit hard first serves, but not as consistently as Marcio.

There were a number of tactical rallies in which Logan would use less pace, but depth to keep Marcio away from the net. This didn’t necessarily stop Marcio from winning the point though.

The first set was tightly contested, but Marcio generally had the upper hand, and won the set 6-4. Marcio kept up the consistency and pressure in the second set, and took that 6-1 for a 6-4 6-1 victory.

Mixed Doubles Final start and resumption

The mixed doubles final took place between the top seeds, Sultan Gangji & Jen Ehr, and the second seeds, Greg Lim & Marjan Denis, under the eagle eye of umpire Stephen Cooke.  Both sides were up for it.  Jen was covering a lot of court, including the space behind Sultan at the net.  Greg was putting away anything high that he could reach, as was Sultan at the net.  The set was very tight up to 5 all, but then Greg was broken and Sultan held, to give the top seeds the first set 7-5.  

The second set started, with Greg holding serve.  But it then became obvious that the later timing of the tournament this year meant it was unlikely to be finished, so all parties decided to suspend play due to bad light.

The conclusion of the final took place on the evening of Tuesday 31 August in front of a small band of spectators.  Matters proceeded with serve until 3 all, at which point Marjan held for 3-4 on Jen’s serve.  Jen was struggling to hit first serves to Greg, who won all the points.  But the ad court is her preferred side for serving, and she missed very few first serves against Marjan, who struggled to return any of them.  But after a large number of deuces, Marjan eventually won a point on her service return, and Greg wrapped up the set 6-3.

In the ensuring Champions Tie Break the momentum was decidedly with Greg and Marjan, who took it [10-4] to become mixed champions for the second time.

Friday ladies’ doubles semi-final match

On the Friday evening, under a gloomy but dry sky, a small band of determined watchers came to see the third ladies’ doubles seeds , Barbara Thomas & Rebecca Vaughan, play the second seeds, Marjan Denis & Sue Ehr on grass. All the players hit the ball hard, but the soil under the grass is still a little moist, and lowish bounces made it difficult to hit with a lot of pace. Marjan and Sue went to the net wherever possible, and it was difficult to lob over them, so they put away a number of volleys.

Sue throws the ball up low on her slice leftie serve, which keeps the bounce low and makes it tricky to get a clean hit on it. Early on, Rebecca had some difficulty in reading Sue’s serve, but got the hang of it as the match went on, taking it on the backhand to allow room for an angled, cross court return.

Sue and Marjan broke, but Barbara and Rebecca pulled it back, and themselves broke again, allowing them to win the first set 6-4. The tennis got better as the match went on. Everyone got more used to the conditions and opponents, and could put more pace on the ball without driving it out. In the second set matters reached 4 all before Sue was broken and she and Marjan could not break back. Barbara and Rebecca also won the second set 6-4 for an overall 6-4 6-4 victory.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Wednesday 11 August 2021

ORDER OF PLAY.

DRAW.

Gourmet Dinners

Tonight, Lesley South prepared a tasty, spicy, Sri Lankan dinner which went down very well. Tonight (Thursday), Moira has prepared lamb tagine.

Wednesday’s tennis

The sun shone for most of the day, and the grass courts started to dry out. But, although the grass itself was dry, the underlying earth was still a little moist, and there were still a number of low bounces on offer. Various spots of grass in the service boxes provided a target for perceptive servers wishing to surprise opponents with a low bounce.

Marjan Denis was granted a walkover into the ladies singles semi-finals by the other tournament referee, enabling the ladies singles semi-final to proceed.

The four scheduled matches were played today. The evening kicked off with a men’s and a ladies’ singles match, followed by two men’s doubles.

On grass court 1, in the second of the ladies singles semi-finals, the fourth seed, Marjan Denis, was out to get as many games as possible from the top seed, Katie Baston. The conditions were not ideal, with the occasional low bounce still around and the yellow and blinding sun shining right down the court from the clubhouse end (as can be seen in the photo), making it very difficult to see anything from the Croftway end, let alone see the lines when returning or serving. Though generally consistent and accurate, Marjan had not played singles for a year or so. Katie has a strong and consistent game, but is relatively new to the occasional low bounces on grass court 1.

In the first set, Marjan struggled with the light, the bounces and Katie’s game, and Katie took the first set 6-0. However, in the second set Marjan came to terms with all these factors and played much better, at a level more approaching what you would expect from her. She won four games. Katie won the match 6-0 6-4 to schedule a meeting with the second seed, Rebecca Vaughan, in the final on Saturday.

On court 2, there was an entertaining men’s singles quarter final between the sixth seed, Ed Fitzpatrick, and the third seed, Logan Mair. Ed is tall, and has a booming serve and pacy groundstrokes to go with it, but can be inconsistent under pressure. Logan had been the second seed in the 2020 tournament, but, perhaps playing below the form of which he is clearly capable, had been beaten in a tight three setter semi-final by the third seed, Greg Lim. So, in the first absence of Cedric de la Chaise for a while, Logan did not earn the opportunity to challenge Marcio Sugui in the final. Logan can hit the ball, and particularly the serve, very hard, but, according to him, tends to use his ex-rugby player muscles to do this, rather than a classical tennis technique.

The match itself was very deceptive to watch. In the first set Ed seemed to hit quite a lot of winners and got to deuce a few times, while Logan made quite a few errors. But Logan won it 6-0. In the second set, Ed did better, getting to 2-3 down and about to serve. But he couldn’t hold either of his two remaining service games. Logan won the match 6-0 6-2.

After this, Marjan commented she thought she had done very well to get 4 games off Katie in her second set. Logan now gets the chance to play Marcio in the semi-final tonight (Thursday), which is expected to be a close match.

By the start of the men’s doubles semi-final on court 1, there was less of a problem with glare from the position of the sun, because all the court was in the shade. Jonathan Bell & Steve Yoo played the top seeds, Sultan Gangji & Greg Lim. Jonathan and Steve can play pretty well, but aren’t an established doubles partnership, while Sultan and Greg are match-hardened from playing together in first team matches on the West Heath grass. Further, Sultan can rely on Greg to do more than his fair share of running around and hitting with pace to put away any loose balls, leaving Sultan to put away anything within reach with volleys, lobs or dropshots. Anything loose from the challengers was duly punished. During the match, Jonathan and Steve did break once, but they couldn’t guarantee to hold their own serves consistently. Greg and Sultan won the match 6-2 6-2.

The other men’s double semi was a father vs son, oldies vs youngsters affair. Bruce Rigal & Aaron Watkins were taking on Joseph Rigal & Jasper Tresidder. Bruce and Aaron had previously played consistently to buck the seedings to beat second seeds “the Jeffs” Jeff Fine & Geoff Isaacs. It was expected that Joseph and Jasper would hit much harder than the older pair, but that they would also make a number of errors too.

In the event, however, Bruce and Aaron where somewhat intimidated by the pace of Joseph and Jasper, to the extent that they missed similar shots to those they would have returned and/or put away in the previous round. Joseph and Jasper played very well, and prevented the older pair from playing at their best, but that doesn’t explain everything. Joseph and Jasper won the match by a convincing 6-1 6-0 margin.

It is great to have a younger pair in the final, who have come up through the ranks of the West Heath juniors. They meet Sultan Gangji and Greg Lim in the final on Saturday.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Tuesday 10 August 2021

Gourmet Dinners

Monday’s delicious mediterranean chicken Gourmet Dinner was prepared by Brian Coffey, who also provided summer red berry compote.

Tonight is Lesley South with a Sri Lankan dinner.

Tuesday matches

Five matches were played today.

In a daytime match, Jonathan Bell took on the top seed, Marcio Sugui. Jonathan is consistent with a good serve and groundstrokes. Marcio is a tricky leftie opponent, who can generate a lot of pace, and uses a quite a bit of spin on his leftie, left-veering serves. But Marcio has been playing too much, and is also training for an advanced coaching qualification, so has had some elbow problems.

Jonathan must have done quite well in the first set, as he got four games, but fared less well in the second set, as Marco won 6-4 6-2.

The first of the scheduled entertainment matches for the Gourmet diners was a mixed between third seeds Ed Fitzgerald & Sue Ehr, and second seeds Marjan Denis & Greg Lim on “centre” (number 2) court. Ed and Sue were both playing well, and were generally targeting Marjan wherever possible. Greg did his best to hit winners from the midcourt or volley position. A number of games went to deuce, and there were a few breaks. Marjan and Greg won the first set 6-3. The second set was tighter, but Marjan and Greg took it 6-4 for a 6-3 6-4 victory.

On court 1, the fourth seeds, Barry Adamson & Elena Valarche were challenging the top seeds Jen Ehr & Sultan Gangji. Barry has a good serve when he is on form. He hit some good serves in the first game, in which he held, but thereafter must have been overawed by the opposition, perhaps forcing the serve too much to get extra pace and ended up missing a lot of serves. Elena usually establishes a dominant position at the net from which to hit winning volleys, but couldn’t get there most of the time. Jen and Sultan were in imperious form, and won the match 6-1 6-0.

On centre court, the sixth seed, Joseph Rigal took on the top seed and defending champion Marcio Sugui. Joseph has some fine serves and penetrating groundstrokes, but can miss when forced. Marcio did not appear at all fatigued by his exertions against Jonathan Bell earlier in the day. Nor did he seem to be troubled by the elbow issues referred to in the report on his earlier match. He employed his usual leftie service spin, and good placement where there was a good chance of hitting a winner, while often playing safe, topspin shots down the centre when under pressure.

In the first set, though Joseph won some good points and hit a lot of good shots, Marcio chased many of them down, and always got the upper hand in the games in the end, winning the set 6-0. Joseph hit more good shots, won more rallies, and found ways to cope with some of Marcio’s strengths in the second set, but he still only got two games. Marcio won 6-0 6-2, and faces either Logan Mair or Ed Fitzgerald next.

On court 1, the third singles seed, Elena Valarche, played the second seed Rebecca Vaughan. Unlike the previous mixed, Elena frequently got to the net, and won a number of points from there. She also employed a low serve which left Rebecca struggling to reach it to return it. Rebecca didn’t seem accustomed to Elena’s approach to singles and took a little while to work out how to counter it. She probably also wasn’t counting on the ball staying so low, as the ground below the dry grass was still slightly moist from the rain in the early hours of the morning, so Elena won a number of points from short balls which just never came up. However, Rebecca got her passing shot going and made only the occasional unforced error, winning the first set 6-3.

In the second set, Rebecca became more dominant as she denied Elena a lot of chances to come in or to hit volleys to hit at the net. Rebecca won the match 6-3 6-1.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Monday 10 August 2021

Gourmet Dinners

On Monday night, Rachael Gangji cooked a well received fish pie, and Lara Hunter prepared a tasty trifle and strawberry meringue to round off the meal.

Tonight’s (Tuesday night’s) chef is Brian Coffey, cooking mediterranean chicken.

The match schedule for the remainder of the Gourmet Dinners is HERE.

Today’s matches

Today was a matter of some luck as to whether the hard courts would be playable in between showers, some of them very heavy. There was no chance of playing on the grass, though it is convenient to position chairs to watch the matches on the hard courts!

During the day, Brian Coffey, the bionic man with two artificial hips and two artificial knees, and also the chef for the Tuesday Gourmet Dinner, played the eighth seed, Joseph Rigal. Although Brian has been playing quite a bit recently, Joseph has been improving a lot, and is both more consistent and just as hard hitting as ever. Joseph won 6-1 6-1.

On the less public hard court 5, Maxi Lampert took on the sixth seed, Ed Fitzgerald. Ed has a huge height advantage on the serve, and some pacy groundstrokes, but isn’t necessarily ultra consistent under pressure. Maxi played well. But Ed was always going to be able to find a way to break his service. Ed took the first set 6-3. The second set seemed to be a lot tighter, and Maxi hit a number of winners, but Ed was able to take it 6-4 and win the match 6-3 6-4.

The main entertainment of the evening was the first clash of seeds on court 4 between the seventh seed, James Low, and the second seed Greg Lim. This match contained a lot of high quality tennis where one player had to manoeuvre for advantage and often take some risk to win the point – it generally wasn’t going to be given away on an unforced error on the slower hard courts.

Although the court surface started off wet, the players didn’t seem unduly phased by this, and were willing to chase balls all over the court. Apparently James has been playing quite a bit of singles recently, and he was pretty accurate in his placement, while also seeming to choose good moments to drop the ball short for Greg to chase, which often allowed James to hit a passing shot down the line into the corner. James also has the accuracy to punish any short balls which Greg gave him. Greg played very consistently, and always had the possibility of a big injection of pace with a flat stroke to hit a winner, provided he had time to get his feet lined up on the shot, and his footwork was very good while rallying. Greg also has a fast enough serve, which must have had enough disguise, to hit one or two aces against James, but not regularly.

In the first set, Greg’s error rate, though low, under pressure was higher than normal, and James put on the pressure when he could, to take the set 6-4.

In the second set the games seemed to be even more hard fought. Greg was always looking for the opportunity to hit a flat winner down the lines or crosscourt, into the corners, but James normally retrieved these well. Greg also hit quite a few accurate, deep balls which touched the inside of the baseline, and would normally have been winners, but James generally was able to return these with accuracy. However, Greg made fewer errors than before, and, despite an early hold, James found himself losing the set 6-1.

At one set all, James thought they might then get away with playing a deciding Champions Tie Break. But Marjan Denis, joint tournament referee, laid down the law that singles matches had to be decided by the best of three tie-break sets.

In the deciding set, James took an early 2-0 lead, and came within a point of making it 3-0. However, Greg saw himself staring into the barrel, became pretty determined at this point, and stepped up the pace of his shots to either force more errors from James, or to create more opportunities for Greg to hit winners. A number of games still went to deuce, but Greg had enough of an edge to take the third set 6-2 and the match 4-6 6-1 6-2. Congratulations to both players for a very high quality, entertaining match played in an excellent spirit.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 August

Gourmet dinners

If you would like to go to the Gourmet Dinners, please reply to the last email about them.

Match schedule for the Gourmet dinners is HERE.

Saturday’s match

Despite the rain, one match still got played. Fortunately, the draws are in good shape at this point.

Brian Coffey & Barry Adamson played Jonathan Bell & Steve Yoo in the men’s doubles. I don’t have a report on this. Jonathan and Steve won 6-1 6-3.

Sunday’s matches

Despite the rain doing its best to keep all the courts wet, four matches were played on the hard courts.

In the mixed, Charles Rubinstein & Eloise Wedgwood had to play the first seeds Sultan Gangji & Jen Ehr. Eloise has been playing 2 or 3 times a week, and improving dramatically. She may well find herself playing for the teams if this continues. She also seems to be superfit, having been on a long (150 mile round trip) cycle ride to the Cotswolds on Saturday, cycling back the day of the match, without it affecting the standard of her enthusiastic groundstrokes noticeably. Meanwhile, Charles’ preparation for the match was more orthodox – he warmed up with Barbara for 30 minutes beforehand. Neither is an experienced team player.

Sultan and Jen are strong players with many team matches under their belt. They made a point of getting to the net wherever possible, and with great success.

Eloise did not give points away easily on the groundstroke rallies with Jen, and Charles hit consistent and well positioned serves and groundstrokes (although he denies the latter). The seeds were too strong, and the challengers got only one or two chances. At one point Charles was 40-15 up on his serve, but thinks his focus wasn’t good enough to convert it to a game. Sultan and Jen won the match 6-0 6-0.

Eugene Belin & Penny Isaacs played the fourth seeds Barry Adamson & Elena Valarche. Penny makes very few mistakes, though Eugene can be less consistent. Elena just likes to get to the net as fast as possible to despatch volley winners. Barry has a fast serve [and a tendency to try to hit passing shots down the line if he can, from playing against him] and served consistently. Elena and Barry won the first set 6-1. In the second set the seeds were 4-1 up, and things weren’t looking too good for the challengers. Penny changed tactics and started lobbing (presumably with Elena at the net) which worked well up until 4 all, but then the challengers got broken and lost the set. Elena and Barry won the match 6-1 6-4.

There was a second match lined up for the winners of the previous match.. So Elena Valarche & Barry Adamson next played the married couple of Dominic Green & Karina Wilsher. Dominic has a good serve, but may not have been giving the match top priority. He had been playing football earlier in the day, and was thus, perhaps, not as fast around the court as he might have been. Karina has some strong groundstrokes, but they are not necessarily that consistent. It sounds like Dominic won all his service games, but that was it for the challengers. Barry and Elena won the match 6-2 6-2.

In the men’s singles, Geoff Isaacs had to play the third seed, Logan Mair. Geoff is pretty consistent, but if Logan was on form, he would have too much power for Geoff. Logan won the match 6-3 6-1.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Thursday 5 & Friday 6 August

Thursday match

On Thursday the only match reported was between Jeff Fine and the fifth seed, Philip Reid. Jeff plays pretty regularly nowadays, and took the trouble to warm up for 30 minutes with some serving practice, which paid dividends. Philip is very fit and hits the ball very hard.

The match was much closer than I was expecting. Jeff mostly held serve, but Philip used his pace and stamina and retrieved a lot of Jeff’s drop shots and lobs to good effect. Philip won the match 7-5 6-4.

Friday matches

Two matches were successfully played today. Not surprisingly, the rest were rained off!!!

In the mixed, Bruce Rigal & Barbara Thomas took on the third seeds, Ed Fitzgerald & Sue Ehr. Bruce and Barbara have a consistent game, but not the same pace as Ed and Sue, who seems to be playing more consistently nowadays. Barbara had been playing in the rain the evening before, had developed a bit of a sniffle, and was not really on top form for the 10 am. start. And Bruce’s normally reliable serve was not firing on all four cylinders, as it would have had to in his doubles win with Aaron Watkins over the second-seeded Jeffs . It was always going to be tough anyway, but the challengers felt they didn’t get it together properly. Bruce and Barbara got a couple of games in the first set, including one on Ed’s serve, before he warmed up properly, but no more. Ed and Sue won 6-2 6-0.

Steve Yoo played James Lowe, the seventh seed, in the singles. It looks like Steve took his time to get into the match, as he won only 1 game in the first set. He won rather more games in the second set, but James won the match 6-1 6-4.

Richard Keep has had to withdraw due to work assignments in Germany next week. That is a shame as I was rather looking forward to seeing him play Philip Reid in the singles!

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Wednesday 4 August

Don’t forget to sign up for the Gourmet Dinners Monday to Thursday next week. List is in the clubhouse near bar entrance, or respond to the email which was sent out.

Today’s matches

Roughly half the total matches have now been played.

There were 4 men’s singles matches today. The first three matches were very one sided affairs. So far, no seed has been beaten in the men’s singles.

Greg Lim, the second seed, beat David Cohen 6-0 6-1 and will now face James Low (7th seed) or Steve Yoo.

Richard Keep, the fourth seed, beat Bruce Rigal 6-0 6-0 and will now face Philip Reid (5th seed) or Jeff Fine.

The unseeded Geoff Isaacs beat Fred Davidson 6-1 6-1, and will now face Logan Mair (3rd seed).

The most interesting match was on hard court 4 (don’t be fooled by the photo), between the unseeded players Jasper Tresidder and Maxi Lampert. Jasper thinks of himself as more of a doubles than singles player stylistically. Perhaps underestimating the demands of singles on a hard court, he had been for a cycle ride beforehand, and had been warming up his serves an hour before the match. The first five games went well for Jasper – he was 5-0 up. But then the preliminary exercise, humidity and required singles exertions got to him and he started to show signs of fatigue, then lost rhythm on his strokes. Trying to keep the points short resulted in more unforced errors and the loss of the next 6 games.

At the point when I enquired about the score, Jasper was 5-6 down. He won the next game to bring up the tie break, which he lost [7-3]. But now Jasper didn’t have enough energy or concentration left in the second set, which Maxi took 6-0 for a 7-6 [7-3] 6-0 victory. Maxi faces Ed Fitzgerald (6th seed) next.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Tuesday 3 August

Remember to sign up for the Gourmet dinners – see details on previous tournament reports.

Today’s matches

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.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Monday 2 August


Gourmet dinners

Don’t forget to sign up to one or more gourmet dinners for next week on  the list in the clubhouse, or reply to the email.:

  • Monday 9 Aug – Fish Pie (Rachael & Lara)
  • Tuesday 10 Aug – Mediterranean Chicken (Brian)
  • Wednesday 11 Aug – Sri Lankan (Lesley)
  • Thursday 12 Aug – Lamb tagine (Moira & Marjan)

Today’s matches

There were five matches played today, with only a very light shower or two around teatime to make the grass a little slippery.

The first match to be played was on grass between Pavel Markiewicz and Jeff Fine.  Pavel has a strong, if sometimes inconsistent, serve, and some good topspin groundstrokes, but this was his first competitive singles match on grass, and didn’t take any of the drop shot opportunities Jeff presented to him.  By contrast, Jeff is a seasoned and wily competitor with good sliced shots very suited to grass, and particularly short balls.  Supported by his mum, Pavel held his own to 3 all. But while Jeff made making some errors, he was able to get most things back with good enough placement to stop Pavel from hitting outright groundstroke winners.  Jeff took the first set 6-3.  In the second set there were some extremely hard fought points, and quite a few deuces, but Jeff had more tactics at his command, and made it tell to take the second set 6-2 and the match 6-3.  Pavel should take heart, however – with more experience of singles on grass, he has plenty of potential to  get to a significantly stronger grass court game.

The second of the men’s singles to kick off was between Walter Reid (father of Philip Reid) and Jonathan Bell. Walter is tall, which comes with a long wingspan to help him on the volleys and to track down wide balls, and a tactical sense to go with shots which rely more on placement than pace. Jonathan has a stronger serve and groundstrokes, but couldn’t necessarily generate his own pace to hit winners. The points were thus more tactical than normal, won either as a result of errors, or of placement out of someone’s reach. Jonathan generally had the upper hand, but was made to work very hard for it by Walter, and there were quite a few deuces. But Jonathan prevailed by sticking at it, winning 6-1 6-0.

The third men’s singles match played was between Matt Wasser and Steve Yoo, on the far hard court, out of sight of the spectators. This match seemed to last twice as long as the other 6 pm matches starting around the same time, with the hard court surface responsible for only some of this discrepancy. Matt, perhaps played more consistently, the way the match panned out. On paper Steve has the better strokes, though more of had a battle with his emotions and nerves.

The match was pretty tight. A number of games went to deuce. There were more breaks than service holds, and Steve eventually got his emotions under control, and got the better of each set for a 6-3 7-5 victory.

On grass court three, in the first of the ladies’ doubles, Julia Abbot & Carmen Martinez took on Barbara Thomas & Rebecca Vaughan, the third seeds. Although Julia and Carmen played consistently, and moved well, they didn’t have the firepower of the seeds, nor the absolutely determination of Barbara to get to every ball. There were more deuces and tight games than the score indicated, but the seeds were in control of the game score from the beginning, as they won 6-0 6-1.

The last of the matches to kick off and the second ladies’ doubles was between Emmanuela Starman & Eloise Wedgwood and fourth seeds, Moira Duncan & Lesley South. Emmanuela and Eloise had some decent ground strokes, and Eloise did some good volley at the net. They were both full of running, but weren’t sufficiently coordinated with each other to stop them both from going for the same balls. This happened a number of times, and led to a concern that someone might get hurt in a collision between them. Meanwhile, Lesley and Moira are an experienced doubles pair. Lesley has some tricky angles and soft shots, and the tactical nous to know when to use them, while Moira has an excellent attacking forehand.

While Emmanuela and Eloise were able to win a number of points, the seeds had the upper hand and won the match 6-1 6-1.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Sunday 1 August 2021

The lists are now up in the clubhouse (on the wall near the bar entrance) for the gourmet dinners from Monday, 9 August to Thursday, 12 August. Everyone is welcome for as many nights as they wish, by signing up on the list in the clubhouse or replying to the email.  Dinners take place outside, include food and drink for £12 – £15 and are absolutely brilliant!  Watch the later round matches first, including the final of the mixed doubles on Thursday evening. There’s plenty of opportunity to chat and meet people.

Main courses and chefs are as follows:

  • Monday- Fish Pie (Rachael & Lara)
  • Tuesday – Mediterranean Chicken (Brian)
  • Wednesday – Sri Lankan (Lesley)
  • Thursday – Lamb tagine (Moira & Marjan)

Sunday’s matches

Although a little rain was forecast, it held off until mid afternoon, after which all the courts were out of action for an hour or two. There were five matches played. The first two were played before the mini rain break.

Arjun Thawani took on Brian Coffey in the men’s singles. Arjun won a tight first set 7-5, but Brian took an even tighter second set 7-6. The rules say singles matches should be best of three sets. But with rain looming, Arjun and Brian decided a little flexibility was called for, so played a champions tie break instead, which Brian won [10-7] to take the match 5-7 7-6 [10-7]. psst – don’t tell the match referees!

Despite the surnames, Dominic Green & Karina Wilsher are married to each other. They played Richard Nightingale & Sally Tornow, who have partnered in the mixed since 2010. Everyone enjoyed the game. Sally reported that Karina could hit the ball very hard, and Dominic did some good drop shots. Dominic and Karina won the match 6-3 6-2.

After the courts had mostly dried out, there was some social tennis played, followed by remaining three matches.

On the hard courts, Magnus Stuxberg took on the eighth seed, Joseph Rigal. It seemed to be quite a close match, though Joseph won 6-2 6-3. I failed to get a photo of the pair, so one of Joseph taken later will have to do! Joseph now has to play Brian Coffey, and then the winner takes on last year’s champion, Marcio Sugui.

Later, on grass court 1, Brian Coffey was in action again, this time partnered with Carmen Martinez in the mixed against Scott Palmer & Susan Grossman. Susan has improved quite a bit recently, especially on the volley and net position. Meanwhile Scott is always prepared to run and run and run, and very often gets shots back that you think he should have no right to return.

The first set was very tight up to 5 all, but Brian and Carmen broke and held to win it 7-5. However, this seems to have been somewhat dispiriting for Scott and Susan, and the second set was a more one-sided affair. Brian and Carmen won 7-5 6-0, and have thus earned a match against Marjan Denis and Greg Lim, the second seeds.

On the hard court, Paul Rubie & Julia Abbot took on Bruce Rigal & Barbara Thomas in the mixed. After the match was over, Julia said she does take a couple of sets to warm up, and Paul said he’d already played a few sets earlier. Bruce and Barbara took the first set 6-0. The second set was a little more competitive, and Julia and Paul won 3 games (perhaps just one net break), for a 6-0 6-3 victory to Bruce and Barbara. After the event, Julia produced a bottle of rose for the participants to share.

Julia produces wine for the players to enjoy.

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2021 2021 Tournament Tournament

Tournament Report – Thursday 29 and Saturday 31 July 2021

After Sultan Gangji promised a can of tennis balls as a prize to the winner of the first tournament match played, the tournament started in earnest with three matches on Thursday 29 July.

Bruce Rigal won the can of balls by beating Paul Rubie in a tight match 7-6 6-1. He also had competition from Logan Mair who beat Michael Siviter more easily 6-0 6-0 and Matt Wasser & Eugene Belin who beat Charles Rubinstein & Richard Nightingale 6-2 6-2.

On the Saturday the weather looked dodgy, but a couple of matches were played. Ed Fitzpatrick beat Charles Rubinstein 6-0 6-1 in the singles, and Bruce Rigal & Aaron Watkins beat Magnus Stuxberg & Pavel Markiewicz 6-3 6-2 in the doubles.

Does anyone have any pictures or more detail on the matches?

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2021 2021 Tournament League

2021 fixtures

The fixtures over the summer months have been finalised, and can be seen/downloaded below.

AGM

The club’s AGM will take place on Wednesday July 21st, at 2015. More information will be announced nearer the time.

Tournaments

The annual Club Tournament takes place over 2 weeks and culminates in Gourmet Dinners week (August 9th-12th) and Finals Day (August 14th).

There are also 3 one-day tournaments throughout the summer.

May 31stBank Holiday American Tournament
June 19thCharity American Tournament
July 31st – August 14thClub Tournament
August 30thBank Holiday American Tournament

Team Matches

Please note that matches played at home will use the grass courts where available, and the hard courts should usually be free for arranged matches. However, in the event of adverse weather, the matches may be moved to the hard courts.

All matches begin at 1830 unless otherwise indicated.

DateTeamHome/AwayOpponent
07/05MIABrondesbury II
10/05LIAFinchley II
11/05LIIAFarm Walk I
18/05MIIACumberland V
24/05LIHChandos III
26/05MIIHFinchley I
02/06LIIHGlobe IV
04/06MIHChandos III
07/06LIAFinchley Manor I
07/06MIIATotteridge II
14/06LIIADL Finchley IV
18/06MIAColes Green
23/06MIIHGlobe III
28/06LIIATotteridge V
30/06LIHNorthway
02/07MIHGlobe II
02/07LIASouth Hampstead
07/07LIIHBrondesbury IV
09/07MIASouth Hampstead I
14/07LIIAAvenue I
16/07MIIADL Finchley I
19/07LIIHOakleigh Park III
27/07LIATotteridge III
29/07MIIACoolhurst III
30/07MIACoolhurst II
04/08MIIHCumberland IV
05/08LIHBrondesbury III
06/08MIHBrondesbury I