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2019 Tournament

Tournament report – Wednesday 24 July 2019

Please put your name on the list in the clubhouse for the Saturday evening BBQ if you will be attending.

Moira Duncan provided a delicious lamb tagine for around 30 people, plus fruit and cream for dessert, and plenty of starters, including a truly giant bag of lentil crisps!

On court 1, one of the mens’ doubles semi finals consisted of Stephen Cooke and Tom Tapper (fourth seeds) against Cedric de la Chaise and Logan Mair (top seeds). In 2018, Cedric and Lajos Szucs were champions, but Lajos has returned to Hungary. Meanwhile, Stephen and Tom were finalists in the most recent Globe tournament, and have played matches for the West Heath second team this year. So it was second team versus first.

It was a good match to watch, with a lot of fast reflexes required for volleys and other shots from both sides. Tom and Stephen played an aggressive game and were just a little more match tight than the top seeds who made slightly more mistakes. This led to a 6-3 6-4 victory for Stephen and Tom. This was a surprise to a number of the spectators further away from court 1 and who had been following the other mens’ doubles semi on centre court.

On the centre court, the other mens’ doubles semi final saw Greg Lim and Tim Simpson challenge Sultan Gangji and Richard Keep. This was also a very entertaining match. Tim was everywhere at the net, and Greg mostly played solidly. Despite Richard’s swinging left serve, Sultan and Richard were often struggling to hold serve, and often couldn’t execute when winners were available to hit. Rachael was providing very partisan spectator support for Sultan, but it wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Tim and Greg won 6-4 6-4.

The result of all this is that the seedings in the mens’ doubles were completely upset. Instead of the normal final featuring the first and second seeds, it will now consist of the third versus the fourth seeds.

Another seeding issue has come to light in the ladies’ doubles. In the 2018 tournament, Lesley South and Sally Tornow beat Jane Boyle and Barbara Thomas (then third seeds) in the first round. This year the draw was much smaller. And Jane and Barbara were second seeds, whereas Lesley and Sally were unseeded – and not as indicated by the 2018 results! This has been drawn to the attention of the seeding committee…..




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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Tuesday 23 July 2019

Lesley South prepared a truly Persian Gourmet Dinner for around 40 attendees. Everyone thought it was superb. Very delicious with range of textures and tastes.

The first match of the evening was a ladies’ singles semi-final between Julia Abbot and Marjan Denis, the second seed. Julia does not play as much as Marjan, which would be difficult, as she seems to spend most of her time on the tennis court. Nevertheless she is mobile, with a reasonable tactical nous, has a good volley and doesn’t make huge numbers of unforced errors. And she acquitted herself well in this match. Marjan won the first set 6-3, but Julia held it together until 5 all in the second, putting some pressure on Marjan, who was expected to win. Although Marjan can get nervous at such points, she was able to take the next couple of games to win the set 7-5 and take the match 6-3 7-5.

The first of the mixed doubles semi-finals then started on centre court between Barbara Thomas and Sultan Gangji (fourth seeds) and Marjan Denis and Greg Lim (top seeds and holders). Marjan and Greg are an experienced partnership, playing many matches together outside West Heath. Barbara and Sultan are less so. Nevertheless, Barbara and Sultan broke the holders more than once, and got into good positions in more than one game, but felt the pressure when the opportunity was there and could not convert. Marjan and Greg won the match 6-3 6-3.


The other mixed semi-final consisted of Ana and Tim Simpson (third seeds) and Andra Marinescu and Marcio Sugui. The match got bumped off court 1 before it started, having to cede the court in favour of the resumption of the last men’s quarter final, by order of the tournament referee. This was not a popular decision with the players. They decided to start the match on court 3, drainage system dips and all, rather than wait or go for a hard court. Thus the eager spectators had a menu of three matches to watch. Ana played very well, often passing Andra and Marcio down the line. Tim did his best, but Andra and Marcio set out to make it difficult for the challengers, and mainly succeeded. They took the first set 6-3, and the second 6-2 for a 6-3 6-2 victory.

The most fascinating match of the evening was the resumption of the mens’s single quarter finals between Andreas Siebold and Logan Mair. The first set was concluded in increasing gloom on Monday night. At 5 all, the tournament referee insisted they finish the first set instead of giving up for bad light. The players held their serve for 6 all, and Andreas took the tie-break 7-3. And at that point they were allowed to give up.

Andreas is very tall, and has a booming serve to match and is capable of directing it to either corner without giving away which, in advance. Logan pronounced that, at well over 120 mph, and was the heaviest serve he has ever played against. The general feeling was that, with height, comes increased distance from the ground, and increased difficulty in getting down to the low shots. However, Cedric de la Chaise commented that he would prefer to play Logan rather than Andreas in the semis, because, if you lose your serve to Andreas, you may have no chance to break back. Logan claims a 112 mph serve, and has good hands, enabling him to place balls back over the net without time to play a full stroke. The consensus was that, with the one set lead, Andreas would win if he could maintain his serve. Not least because Logan now had to win two sets, whereas Andreas required only one.

Logan had well warmed up on court 3 by the time Andreas arrived. When play resumed, Andreas, perhaps, with just the knock up, less up, made more errors than the previous evening, and Logan capitalised big time to take the set 6-0. In the final set, Andreas started well, breaking Logan’s first service game to reach a 3-1 lead and holding his own service games easily with no obvious problems. Logan played to get Andreas’ booming serve back into play wherever possible and played to Andreas’ backhand with low shots. He also used topspin lobs when Andreas came in, though also executing one excellent cross court pass which dropped just in. It was very close, but Logan managed to execute sufficiently to break back to 4 all. Logan then broke once more to take the set and the match 6-73-7 6-0 6-4. The match was played in a good spirit, and both players were clearly in the zone.

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Monday 22 July 2019

A tasty moussaka (laced with some additional ingredients such as cinnamon) was provided by Julia Abbot. Jill Elek provided the dessert of Golders Green cherries and creme caramel.

There were seven matches played this evening, including one that was not completed.

At 4:30 pm the first match on court was a ladies’ doubles semi final in which Moira Duncan and Julia Abbot played Barbara Thomas and Jane Boyle, the second seeds. Everyone was a little tense to start with, ut the score reached 3 all. At this point Barbara and Jane started to play a little better, and Moira and Julia a little worse, resulting in Barbara and Jane taking the first set 6-3. In the second set the seeds played better and won it 6-1 for a 6-3 6-1 victory.

Joseph Rigal and Richard Keep, the third seed, went on court for their men’s singles quarter final just after the ladies’ doubles started. The first game started around 5 pm, was very hard fought and set the tone for the rest of the first set. It lasted 15 minutes. In fact, Bruce Rigal, Joseph’s father, set off from Richmond after the match had started, and arrived in plenty of time to watch the conclusion. The first set lasted an hour. Joseph has a heavy serve and ground strokes powerful enough to create winners on serve. Richard did his best to slow the rallies down, relying on superior consistency to win the important points. In the end, Richard took it 6-4. The second set was similarly lengthy, but Richard had more of an edge, taking it 6-1 for a 6-4 6-1 win.

Having beaten Bruce Rigal, Howard Kingston was looking forward to his match with Cedric de la Chaise, the reigning champion. Howard served well, but was often on the defensive, and missed some winners. Cedric wasn’t playing particularly well, putting a number of balls out of court, but always had an edge. Further he knew that, if he won, he would be playing a follow on men’s single match against Tim Simpson, so was trying to conserve energy. Howard mostly held his serve in the first set, but Cedric was able to take it 6-3. Howard held his serve in the first game of the second set which was otherwise less even. Cedric won it 6-1, winning the match 6-3 6-1.

In his second match on court 1, Cedric de la Chaise had to cope with the booming serves, good volleys and heavy ground strokes of Tim Simpson. Tim won a number of points with his power. He also played a (witnessed) hot dog shot with the ball behind him into the open court to win one point, where Cedric had already given up, assuming his shot was an outright winner. But Cedric always had things under control with consistency and placement, and won the match 6-2 6-2.

After the Joseph Rigal / Richard Keep marathon match finished late on centre court, Greg Lim, the seventh seed, played Marcio Sugui the second seed. Greg has flat strokes with pace generated more with a slap than an extended take back. He played Cedric de la Chaise in the 2017 final, having dispatched Graeme Pearson with a super performance in the semis. Marcio is a leftie with a heavy top spin forehand and a heavy sliced serve hit with pace which aced Greg more than once. Further, Marcio has been playing in open over 40 tournaments and has achieved a world ranking of 900 (?), which is quite and achievement. Marcio did not have this match all his way, as Greg was well able to hit hard flat serves and direct any weak to the court corners to put Marcio under pressure and win the point. But, although able to hit winners by depriving Marcio of time, Greg’s unforced error rate was higher than Marcio’s, and, inevitably, Marcio broke him several times. Greg broke Marcio on at least one occasion, but it wasn’t enough to deprive Marcio of a 6-3 6-3 victory.


Due to the busy match schedule, the men’s doubles involving Howard Kingston (warmed up by his match with Cedric de la Chaise) and Eugene Belin vs Sultan Ganghi and Richard Keep (second seeds) elected to play on a bumpy court 3 rather than the a hard court. With the permission of the losers, I can report that Sultan and Richard are claiming a record of winning the first sixteen point of the match for a 4-0 lead. However, Howard and Eugene managed to win one game before the seeds took the first set 6-1. The second set was a similarly rapid affair which the seeds won 6-0 to take the match 6-1 6-0. It was over before most people realised it was a tournament match.

The last action of the day was a thrilling match up between Andreas Siebold, the sixth seed, and Logan Mair, the fourth seed. I don’t know how tall Andreas actually is, but it must be over 2m. He has a serve, to match, in excess of 110 mph, with which to ace you either side. But Logan is no slouch either, with a fast service action which had Andreas consistently returning into the net in at least one game. Logan also has this annoying habit of being able to retrieve balls bouncing behind him, as well as good half volley technique and the ability to generate power off not very much. Both players seem to go for the lines, occasionally making it difficult to determine whether the ball was in or out. As frequently occurs on a dusty West Heath grass court baseline, it is often no problem to determine exactly where the ball lands, but determining the precise line boundary is another matter!

After exchange of a few breaks, the set reached 5 all in descending gloom, whereupon the two protagonists asked for a deferral. A hard-hearted tournament referee turned down this appeal, and the set ended with a tie break. Andreas won this, so is one set up for the resumption one evening this week.

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Sunday 21 July 2019

There were plenty of matches today, and the occasional dark cloud yielded no more than a few droplets. Thanks to Jane for a couple of fine teas on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

The noon singles match was Stan Vasiliev against the third seed, Richard Keep. Stan had previously sought advice as to how to approach the match, and the general response had been to take 20% of pace off, to go for placement, and to keep his cool. Stan and Richard weren’t around later to tell us exactly what happened, but Stan held Richard to 6 all in the first set, which Richard then took on a 7-4 tie break. However, Stan fared less well in the second set, losing it 6-1 for a 7-67-4 6-1 victory to Richard.

The 2 pm doubles match featured James Low and Steve Yoo versus the third seeds Tim Simpson and Greg Lim. It looked very much as if James and Steve were at a disadvantage on the somewhat unfamiliar grass surface, and their error rate was much higher than the seeds, who won the first set 6-0. James and Steve picked up somewhat in the second set, but could still only hold half their service games, giving a 6-0 6-2 victory to Tim and Greg. There were a few comments afterwards that the match would have been altogether different, had it been played on the hard courts.


After a suitable break, Tim Simpson went back on to centre court for the mixed, where he and his partner, Ana were the third seeds against Lesley South and James McKenzie. It soon became clear that James’ paternal responsibilities had rightly taken priority over his tennis so far this season, and he looked decidedly rusty in the first set, which the seeds took 6-1. However, this “warm-up” prepared James to play closer to his standard in the second set, and Lesley got her eye in more with some of her impossible angled shots to play some fine points. The set was more of a struggle for the seeds, although they eventually got a service break and went on to win it 6-4 for a 6-1 6-4 victory.


Meanwhile, in the parallel mixed on court 1, Julia Abbot and Geoff Isaacs played Andra Marinescu and Marcio Sugui (second seeds). Julia and Geoff struggled against Marcio’s leftie serve and topspin strokes, and Andra’s pace, though Julia, as ever, ran around to retrieve shots and both played some fine strokes. Andra and Marcio won 6-1 6-1.


In another mixed doubles match, Soo Teng Lee and Fred Davidson took on Barbara Thomas and Sultan Gangji, the fourth seeds. Soo Teng played some fine serves and shots, and Fred also hit some good serves and groundstrokes. But the pair weren’t as match tight as the regular first team players, and could not hold serve sufficiently well. Sultan went for placement and occasionally had the opposition running around all over the court. The seeds won 6-0 6-1.


The evening wrapped up with a men’s doubles between James McKenzie and Ed Fitzgerald and top seeds Cedric de la Chaise and Logan Mair. Cedric won the event last year with Lajos Szucs, who has since returned to Hungary. The challengers won some good points with fine strokes and tactics. But it must be discouraging to play against Cedric’s retrieving and brilliant returns off what looked like lost causes, and Logan’s ability get the ball over the net on the half volley and the occasional ball that was behind him. James and Ed did their best, but Cedric and Logan took the match 6-1 6-0.


And lastly, there’s no truth in the rumour that the women in the club have decided to standardise on white tops and blue skirts. Also see Soo Teng in her match photo above.

As we come to the “business end” of the tournament, congratulations are due to the seeding committee (Sultan). At this point, with almost all matches up to date, only one seed has been eliminated from an event by an unseeded player. The seeds only start to meet each other in the second week as the hors d’oevre to the Gourmet Dinners which start Monday.




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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

2019 Tournament Links

Draw

Rules

Gourmet dinners

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Saturday 20 July 2019



Firstly, the Gourmet dinners are very popular this year and filling up fast. See the lists as of yesterday. If you want to come to some or all, then sign up today!

In the singles, James Low played Andreas Seibold, the sixth seed. Andreas won 7-5 6-4.

In the mixed, Moira Duncan and Julia Abbot beat Anna Ganev and Beatrice Larre

Also in the singles James Martin played Tim Simpson the eighth seeds. Tim won the first set 6-4, but the second set reached 6 all for a tie break. This was also very tight up to 5 all, but Tim won it and took the match 6-4 7-67-5

The big disappointment was the expected 5 pm Saturday match on the court booking sheet between Sultan Gangji & Barbara Thomas and Soo Teng Lee & Fred Davidson. A few of us had stayed at the club anticipating being thoroughly entertained by this.

Barbara arrived at the club just after 4 pm, and proceeded to warm up in a social set of doubles. But by 4:55 pm none of the others had arrived. On asking Barbara why none of the others had arrived, it emerged that the scrawl on the court booking sheet was wrong, and the match was always due to be played on the Sunday. In fact I must have actually entered the correct time into the online draw, but didn’t think to check this as the assumption is always that the court booking sheet is correct.

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2019 2019 Tournament

Tournament report – Mon-Fri 15-19 July 2019

In the men’s doubles, Steve Yoo and James Low beat Gideon Stone and Geoff Isaacs 6-2 6-0. Perhaps a pair to watch this year.

Also, Stan Vasiliev and Joseph Rigal beat Walter and Philip Reid (probably the pair with the widest wingspan on the volley), 6-0 6-3. However, Stan and Joseph went on to lose 6-1 6-3 to Tom Tapper and Stephen Cooke.

In the men’s singles, Joseph Rigal and Geoff Isaacs had a very competitive match. Geoff had rather surprised the seeding committee and a few others by beating Ed Fitzgerald in an early match in the first round, though reports were that Ed was playing below his normal level. Joseph has a heavy serve nowadays (when it goes in) and groundstrokes. Geoff is more a consistency player, though considerably older than Joseph. The first set went 6-4 to Joseph, and the second set was even tighter as it must have reached 5 all before Goeff took the next two games for a 7-5 set. But Geoff had shot his bolt – perhaps stamina waned in the third set, because Joseph won it 6-1 for a 6-4 5-7 6-1 victory.

Jasper Tressider took on Greg Lim, the seventh seed. Jasper has some great shots and serve, but is not exactly Mr Consistent. One big aim of Jasper is to perfect the hotdog and catching the ball on the racket – essential tennis skills much neglected by the rest of the club. Two years ago Greg beat Graeme Pearson, a former champion, in the semis in a thrilling three setter 7-68-6 3-6 6-3, but lost to Cedric de la Chaise in the final. Greg’s flat strokes allow him to generate a lot of pace, often leaving the opponent with less time than he needs to get to, and play, a stroke. Jasper started well by breaking Greg in the first game, taking a 3-1 lead. But Greg pulled it back with some effort, and Jasper did not play as well once the lead had gone, losing the first set 6-3. Jasper also took 3 games in the second set for a 6-3 6-3 victory to Greg. Hopefully Jasper will become more consistent over time, in which case some of the lower seeds had better watch out.

On Thursday evening, James Low beat Philip Reid 6-2 7-5. It looks like Philip was able to put together a more determined game in the second set, but could not prevail.

On Friday evening Steve Yoo played Logan Mair, the fourth seed. Logan won 6-2 6-1.

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Gourmet dinners

Don’t forget to sign up for the Gourmet dinners Monday 22 July through Thursday 25 July. Some are filling up fast (picture from Saturday 19 July).

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Sunday 14 July 2019

On Sunday there were a few singles matches played.

Mihika Joshi beat Anna Ganev in the ladies’ singles.

In the men’s singles Eugene Belin beat David Cohen 6-1 6-0.

The battle of the Jameses in the men’s singles must have been pretty prolonged and intense. James Martin won the first set 6-3, but James McKenzie came roaring back to take the second set 6-4. The decider reached 5 all before James Martin took the last two games for a 6-3 4-6 7-5 victory.  It seemed that every other game went to deuce and the rallies were long when J Martin was dominating and shorter when J McKenzie made it into the net for a volley or two.  It was a hard fought match, played in good spirits.

In the mixed, Fred Davidson and Soo Teng Lee played Bruce Rigal and Moira Duncan. Fred is tall, and his wingspan makes it difficult to hit the ball around him or over him at the net. Further, his height gives him a decent serve. Soo Teng has some good strokes. Moira didn’t get her passing shots going. Fred and Soo Teng took the match 6-4 6-3.

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Saturday 13 July 2019

In the singles, Bruce Rigal was beaten 1-6 1-6 by Howard Kingston, an enthusiastic new member!

In a singles clash between two new members, Steve Yoo beat Pushmeet Kohli 6-0 6-2.

Paul O’Flynn and Joseph Rigal played a singles match that was closer. Joseph won 6-3 6-4.

Also in the singles, Fred Davidson took on Stan Vasiliev. Stan’s power game must have taken a bit of getting used to and Fred won only 1 game in each set for a 6-1 6-1 victory to Stan.

The evening entertainment started with a mixed match between Joseph Rigal and Jane Boyle and the third seeds, Tim Simpson and Ana. Apparently Tim and Ana played very solidly in the first set, which the seeds took 6-2, and their opponents were expecting similar punishment in the second.

However, the second set turned out to be a much more even affair. A lot of service breaks were exchanged. When he wasn’t serving or returning (generally pretty well), Tim often raced from one side of the net to the other, sometimes intercepting perfectly, and sometimes allowing Joseph or Jane clear shots down the line. Ana played some strong volleys and groundstrokes, and Jane generally played strokes awkward for the opponents to return. Joseph hit some good serves and groundstrokes. There were also a number of misses, in the end leading to 6-6 to prepare the way for a set tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Jane and Joseph struggled at first, conceding a 0-5 lead before they got going. They pulled it back to 2-6 but the minibreak discrepancy proved too much, and Tim and Ana took the match 6-2 7-67-2.

With only a slight overlap, the later show was a singles between Matt Wasser and Greg Lim, the seventh seed. Greg mainly uses flat, pacy serves and strokes, which Matt returned as best he could, often with slice and awkward placement, forcing some errors from Greg. But when Greg was able to stretch Matt, his placement suffered a bit, and Greg was often able to hit a winner. Greg won 6-1 6-2.

Lesley South and James McKenzie beat Anna Ganev and Eugene Belin 6-2 6-2.

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

Tournament report – Friday 12 July 2019

In the men’s singles, the third seed, Ed Fitzgerald played Geoff Isaacs. According to reports, Ed didn’t play very well, and Geoff took full advantage to win 6-4 6-4.

Results of other matches will be posted as soon as someone lets me know what they were!

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2019 2019 Tournament Tournament

2019 Tournament Rules

The 2019 tournament draw can be found HERE.

1. The Tournament officially begins on FRIDAY 12th JULY and the FINALS will be played on SATURDAY 27th JULY. If rain prevents play, the FINALS will be played on SUNDAY 28th JULY. The Draw will be up by TUESDAY 9th JULY to allow competitors to arrange matches during the week. First round matches must be played before or on SUNDAY 14th JULY.

2. A chart of available court times is drawn up and competitors are asked to book the courts they intend to play on.

3. The players whose name appears in the top half of the bracket are initially responsible for challenging their opponents.

4. The tournament is to be played on all the courts, apart from the semi-finals and the Finals, which will be played on grass, unless the weather does not permit. In the event of disagreement between the opponents on the surface to be chosen, this will be decided by the spin of the racket.

5. New Balls will be provided for the FINALS.

6. All rounds are to be played within the scheduled time indicated at the top of each draw sheet in order to allow smooth progress. Extensions will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and with permission from the joint Referees.

7. All matches will be the best of 3 Tie-Break Sets except the DOUBLES EVENTS which will have the 3rd set as a MATCH TIE-BREAK (i.e. Champions T/B with a Team reaching 10 points with a margin of 2). The rules of the Tiebreak are displayed.

8. All matches must be continuous and appeal for bad light will be considered after 9.00pm.

9. Please give your Entry Fees £3/£5 to Moira or Marjan.

10. Competitors are expected to volunteer to be lines persons on Finals day.

11. The Mixed Doubles Final will be scheduled for Thursday 25th July?

12. The schedule for the 2nd week is fixed with Gourmet Dinners each evening.

13. The Joint Referees are Marjan and Sultan whose decisions will remain final.

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2019

2019 Newsletter

Read all about it! The club newsletter is available by clicking the image below…

Screenshot 2019-04-11 at 20.34.47

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2019

2019 Schedule

Dates for your diaries! All matches are shown here, along with doubles coaching and the dates for the summer tournament.

Screenshot 2019-04-11 at 20.30.33

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2018 2018 Tournament

Tournament report – Finals day – Saturday 28 July 2018

Finals Day was a little cooler than of late. Although the rain held off and the courts were dry, there was a gusting wind which changed direction frequently, to add variety to the only occasional bad West Heath bounce.

Men’s singles final

This year the men’s singles final was contested by Marcio Sugui, the third seed, and Cedric de la Chaise, the top seed and 2017 champion, who had previously won the men’s singles nine times. The chair umpire was Kevin Ryan. Marcio has a good variety of serves, including a leftie slice and a flat serve, and some useful topspin shots off both wings. Cedric is very consistent with good groundstrokes (mainly topspin) and serve, but one of his significant strengths is a combination of anticipation, speed about court, and the ability to hit with good placement even when stretched. This makes it very difficult to win points off him by hitting topspin winners. Further, Cedric does play some singles at the Cumberland, whereas Marcio rarely does.

Men's singles final.  Cedric and Marcio, umpired by Kevin RyanMarcio kicked off and both players held their first two service games. On his third game, Marcio was 40-0 up, but could not convert it to a game, as Cedric chipped away point by point. From Marcio’s viewpoint this was a real problem, as he hit shots which would have been winners against anyone else, but Cedric typically could chase them down and place a winner to earn the point. Not only this, but Marcio was starting to tire, while Cedric was just warming up. Possibly this might be the doing of Paul, Cedric’s personal trainer at the Cumberland. The net of all this was that, although Marcio stayed competitive in the points, tried his hardest and won points, he could not make them add up to games, and Cedric won 6-2 6-0 to emerge as the Champion.

Sultan Gangji had been rather hoping that Marcio would win. According to Sultan, this was because he thought Cedric, Mark Stapleton and Sultan himself were all on 9 singles tournament wins prior to the match. However, a closer examination of the Champions table showed that Mark won in 93, 96-99, 01-03, 10 and 12, for a total of ten, whereas Sultan had won in 76, 78-81, 83-84, 87 and 90 for a total of nine. Cedric is now also on ten with 04-09, 11, 15 and 17-18. No-one else has more than seven. Thus Sultan’s tally has moved from second, jointly with Cedric and behind Mark, to third on his own, behind Mark and Cedric jointly. Perhaps Sultan’s PhD in chemistry doesn’t necessarily imply an ability to add up accurately. And maybe someone should tell Mark of the threat to his West Heath record to see if he feels compelled to try to restore his advantage in 2019.

Ladies singles final

Elena Valarche, the second seed and 2017 champion, played Andra Marinescu, the third seed, to vie for the title under the watchful eye of Greg Lim. Elena has the capability of mixing it up, but prefers to do her playing from the net if at all possible. Andra has excellent technique and can hit the ball with accuracy and pace. Although she played for the West Heath Ladies I team for a few seasons, this year she has stepped up to play for Cumberland Ladies II, while still playing in matches for West Heath over winter.

Ladies singles final, Andra and Elena, umpired by Greg LimElena did her best to hit deep, flat approach shots and come in, but Andra usually had plenty of time to line up her shot and pass Elena on the side of Andra’s choosing. Sultan had a small bet with me on whether Elena would get a game, and Elena gave him hope a few times by getting 30-0 or 0-30 up, but struggled to convert, often with Andra winnng the next four points outright. Sultan lost his bet, Andra won the match 6-0 6-0, Antoine had to purchase 12 bottles of Rose (see Thursday’s tournament report), and Andra won the tournament without dropping a single game in three matches.

Men’s doubles final

Men's doubles final - Lajos & Cedric, Greg & Marcio, umpired by James McKenzieThis was contested between third seeds, Greg Lim & Marcio Sugui and Cedric de la Chaise & Lajos Szucs, and umpired by James McKenzie. Lajos used to be a tennis coach, and is Mr Consistency, though he does not have as powerful strokes as Cedric. Also he is not as fast around court, not that this is saying very much, as few are. The first set was well contested and very entertaining, though Greg seemed to think he did not play well. Cedric and Lajos had the edge to take it 6-4. In the second set Marcio and Greg put up a good fight. When at the net, Cedric took to feinting towards the middle of the net to cast doubt in the opponents’ minds as to whether he would try to intercept or not. On the deuce side Greg put at least one past him down the line, but on the ad side Marcio preferred to always go crosscourt, even though Cedric left himself exposed and the pass down the line would have been on Marcio’s leftie forehand. Cedric and Lajos won the second set 6-3. and thus the title 6-4 6-3.

Perhaps one day someone will find a way to get Cedric to smile in the photo when he wins!

whdraw2018elenamarjanbarbaraanaandra

Ladies doubles final

Andra Marinescu & Ana, the second seeds, played Elena Valarche & Marjan Denis, the top seeds and 2017 champions under the watchful eye of the umpire Barbara Thomas. Although Elena and Marjan both played well, Ana and Andra were too strong. Ana and Andra won the title 6-2 6-1.

Finals Day tea

Finals Day tea, prizegiving and BBQ

The sumpuous 2018 spread stretched over the full length of two tables. By the end of the afternoon most of it had gone too.

As retiring men’s team captain, James McKenzie was invited to present the trophies this year.
2018 finalists

In the evening there was the traditional West Heath Finals Day BBQ.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the tournament this year, particularly to Sultan and Marjan, the referees.

Pictures

Here’s a link to all the West Heath 2018 tournament pictures on my Dropbox.

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2018 Tournament

Tournament 2018 – Finals Day Order of Play

Finals day - order of play

The weather forecast is for sun by the 2 pm start, with no further rain expected today.

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2018 2018 Tournament

Tournament report – Thursday 26 July 2018 (Mixed final & men’s semis)

Mixed Doubles Final

This was between the fourth seeds, Cedric de la Chaise & Carine Valarche and the second seeds Greg Lim & Marjan Denis. Cedric and Carine had knocked out the top seeds Tim Simpson & Ana in the previous round. The match was expected to be tight.

Carine serveCedric’s strategy was to rely on Carine not to make unforced errors, but not to play aggressively, while he expected to cover the rest of the court and either hit winners outright or set them up for his or Carine’s next shot. However, in the first set there were possibly signs of fatigue from Cedric after his previous singles semi-final. He made a few unforced errors when there was a possibility of hitting a winner. Carine did not have her eye in fully, and Cedric and Carine never got fully going. Carine struggled throughout to get her first serves in and to hold on to her serve. By contrast, Greg and Marjan were much more solid. Greg and Marjan won the set 6-2.

Mixed Doubles Final - Carine, CIn the second set Cedric was able to to step up his game, but not to eliminate the errors completely. The pair equalised at 3 all, but found themselves losing 3-5 until Greg lost his serve to give them 5 all. Then came Marjan’s serve, and Greg, in particular, having mostly played well throughout, started to feel the pressure and dumped two volleys into the net from the left hand side of the court, the second of which should have been relatively straightforward. This eventually resulted in Marjan being broken. Unfortunately, in the next game, Carine could not get her first serves in or deliver a good enough second serve to get into the point properly. Thus, at 6 all, matters rested on the set tie break. Cedric and Carine had the mini-break until Carine had to serve, but she could not take either point. On Greg’s serve Cedric had a shot for a winner to even matters up, but could not get it right, and Greg and Marjan were then able to take the tie-break 7-4 for a 6-2 7-67-4 victory.

Cedric presentation of cake to CedricHad Cedric not had to play the previous singles semi-final, and thus been more likely to play at his best, the pair could have won. Greg and, particularly, Marjan generally played solidly. Carine generally held her own, except, perhaps, on the serve. She also hit some great winners at the net and some great service returns, although Greg managed to ace her a few times on the forehand side. She also surprised Cedric on a few occasions. On one point he was at the net with Carine at the back and the opponents lobbed over him three times, to opposite corners of the court. Carine chased down all three and won the point for her side. You should have seen the look on Cedric’s face. After the match, to mark Cedric’s acceptance of Carine’s invitation to join her in the mixed, Carine presented him with a specially baked thank-you cake!

Gourmet dinner

Rachael Gangji provided the traditional delicious Thursday fish pie Gourmet Dinner, and Lara provided a selection of tempting puddings.

Other matches

In addition to the mixed final the two men’s singles semi-finals were played.

Semi-final Marcio, EdOn grass court 1, Ed Fitzgerald, fresh from playing out of his skin to beat the second seed Greg Lim, had to contend with the third seed Marcio Sugui. Ed continued with his power game and hit a number of winners on both services and groundstrokes. Although Marco denied it, Ed felt that Marcio made only two unforced errors, though Ed himself made rather more. However Marcio does have excellent placement and control of spins, and this did induce a significant number of errors from Ed. As a result, Marcio won the first set 6-1 and the second 6-2.

Semi-final Cedric, PhilipOn centre court, the fifth seed, Philip Reid‘s previously smooth progress towards the final was somewhat disrupted by having to play an actual match against the top seed Cedric de la Chaise. Previously Philip had had a bye in the first round and two walk-overs in the next two rounds. As Philip is very tall, he has a penetrating serve which can set him up for a volley, and can also hit some powerful ground strokes. Cedric can play very consistently. Rather than going for it, Philip played well within himself in the first set, which to a large extent played to Cedric’s strengths. This did not look like the right game plan and Cedric won the first set 6-1. However, in the second set, after going two down, Philip took his power game to Cedric. This did work better, as Philip hit winners and was able to induce errors and short balls from Cedric, but because Philip started late and was not able to apply this game plan consistently, Cedric took the match 6-1 6-3.

BetThere was a big discussion about Elena Valarche’s chances against Andra Marinescu in Saturday’s ladies’ singles final. Andra was playing for West Heath over the winter season, but in the summer season has been playing in the Cumberland ladies second team, which is a higher standard. When asked about the match, Elena herself drew a pair of goggles around her eyes with her hands (implying a double bagel). Tim Simpson tackled Antoine Valarche about it, which resulted in the bet pictured, drawn up on a serviette. The concensus was that Antoine had got the worst of the bet.

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2018 2018 Tournament

Tournament report – Wednesday 25 July 2018

The Gourmet Dinner last night was a comprehensive, eclectic and delicious Spanish meal prepared by Lesley. See the menu in the post below.

There were two men’s doubles and a ladies singles match played.

James, Ed, Cedric, LajosOn grass court 1 the unseeded Ed Fitzgerald & James McKenzie played against the top seeds Cedric de la Chaise & Lajos Szucs. Although Ed can send down booming serves, and James can swing out his leftie serve, they struggled to hold serve. The rest of Ed’s game relies more on power than consistency, but the top seeds are used to dealing with thhis.
Cedric and Lajos had too much consistency and power and they were able to turn this into pressure. Cedric in particular is very fast around the court and Lajos made few unforced errors to back him up. The top seeds won 6-1 6-2.

whdraw2018marcioserveGreg, Marcio, Dan, SultanOn the centre grass court the spectators were expecting the second seeds Dan Oakley & Sultan Gangji to force an eventual win over the second seeds Greg Lim & Marcio Sugui. However, after his defeat at the hands of the unseeded Ed Fitzgerald in the men’s singles quarter fina, Greg had a point to prove, and Marcio is a strong leftie with enough service variety to make it difficult for the returner (see super back-scatch position in photo on right from Susan Grossman), so they were both up for it. By contrast, Sultan and Dan didn’t seem to be playing at their best – possibly two nights of Gourmet Dinners taking a little more of a toll on the older contingent?

whdraw2018sangriamarciogregsultandanHowever, there was some good tennis played all round, and a number of very entertaining points to divert the crowd’s attention away from the Sangria and nibbles (photo courtesy of Susan Grossman). The first set didn’t go according to plan, with Greg and Marcio breaking and take it 6-3. The second set was even less of a success for Dan and Sultan, enabling Greg and Marcio to take the match 6-3 6-2. Greg and Marcio thus face Cedric and Lajos in the final on Saturday.

Andra and MarjanOn grass court 3, Marjan Denis and Andra Marinescu faced each other for a place in the ladies’ singles final. Although Andra was playing for West Heath ladies’ first team last year, this year she is in the Cumberland ladies second team, so is obviously a strong player, but Marjan was not playing particularly well, particularly on the low balls which perhaps resulted from the greener (and less bouncy) grass coverage on court three compared with courts one and two. Andra won 6-0 6-0.

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2018 Tournament

Tournament report – menu for 25 July 2018

Chef tonight is Lesley South.

whdraw2018menu25july

Categories
2018 Tournament

Tournament report – Tuesday 24 July 2018

Moira Duncan was the Gourmet Chef for this evening, cooking a delicious chicken and spinach curry. This was followed by a mango pudding.

The entertainment kicked off with two men’s singles.

Ed and GregGrass court one hosted Ed Fitzgerald vs Greg Lim, the second seed. According to Greg, Ed has never beaten him. Ed says he has beaten him twice, among lots of defeats. Greg wasn’t playing particularly well, but Ed was playing out of his skin. Both made a number of unforced errors, but Ed’s booming serve, long-armed reach and lethal forehand also provided him with a number of winners. Greg hit fewer winners and seemed to be having particular difficulty in getting his first serve in. It was all very tight, with fine margins and a number of breaks of serve. Ed won the first set 6-3 with a couple of net service breaks. The second set was more even, with breaks traded evenly until 4 all. There was then a slightly peculiar game on Ed’s serve which, given that Ed kicked off with a double fault, according to both Sultan and I, did not seem to have enough points in it for Ed to win it, though both players seemed to agree that Ed had, in fact, won it. Greg could not then hold his serve, Ed taking the match 6-3 6-4. Given the way Ed played, his mother should be proud of him! So that was one upset for this evening.

whdraw2018eugencedricOn Centre Court, Eugene Berlin was hoping to get at least a game from Cedric de la Chaise. Though Eugene played some great points this proved difficult. Cedric played a medium-paced game, looking to win on consistency while preserving energy for his subsequent mixed match. Eugene got to 30 points in some games, but couldn’t meet his target. Cedric won with a combination of placement, winners off short balls and occasional unforced errors from Eugene.

whdraw2018cedrictimannaiscarineFollowing the conclusion of the singles on centre court there was a mixed semi-final, the fourth seeds, Carine Valarche & Cedric de la Chaise, played the 2017 champions and top seeds Tim Simpson & Ana. Having asked Cedric to play with her, Carine, given she had missed a lot of the summer tennis season, had been concerned to ensure she pulled her weight in these matches, and had had training sessions for the last few days with Peter Davies (once) and Dhananjay Talwar (twice). Meanwhile Ana was supported by the full contingent of her family, including husband Tom, and 4 month old twins, one of whom gently reminded her from time to time that he was around.

Ana and Tim did not play as well as they did during the 2017 tournament. Ana and Carine struggled to hold their serves as it was tricky to serve into the sun from the far end, particularly on the deuce court. Cedric gave a number of instructions to Carine to “leave” which mainly meant leaving the ball to him, though on one occasion it meant both of them watching a looped topspin shot from the opponents landing at least 3 feet in for an outright winner. However, Carine rightly tended to ignore such shouts from Cedric if she felt the ball was hers and she could deal with it. She got a number of looks from Cedric which seemed to say something like, “OK I know I told you to leave it and you didn’t, but I wasn’t really expecting you to be able to either hit a winner from it or to hit a shot good enough to set me up to hit the winner on our next shot.” Another difference between the pairs was that Carine, though making the occasional mistake, was able to provide some solid volleys on Cedric’s serve and some good returns on Tim’s serve, enabling Cedric to rush around the court to try to hit winners off as much as possible, mostly consistently. Both sets went a similar way, with Tim and Ana getting to 2-5 down, but losing the last game. Cedric and Carine won the match 6-2 6-2 to earn themselves a place in Thursday’s final.

It seems that the other semi-final will not take place, and Greg Lim and Marjan Denis, the second seeds, will play Cedric and Carine in the final on Thursday, as a result of a walk-over.

Oh, and the smooth progress of Philip Reid, the fifth seed, might be interrupted at the semi-final, as he might actually have to play a match instead of progressing by means of a series of byes and walk-overs!