The West Heath 2022 tournament started on Thursday 14 July.
The first match of the tournament was a singles between Gavin Stanton and Ed Fitzgerald. Ed plays in the men’s second team and is probably the tallest player in the club, and uses this to his advantage on serve, with some hard hitting groundstrokes. Ed won 6-0 6-2.
That evening there was also a mixed doubles on grass court 1 between Matt Wasser & partner vs Terry Heller & Peter Davies. Matt’s partner has a strong serve and can hit some heavy groundstrokes, but is not always that consistent, while Matt also has a decent serves and groundstrokes, but was nursing his elbow a little. Terry is very consistent on the groundstrokes and very effective at the net where she seems to be able to lunge at a ball nearly out of reach, but hit it over the net. Peter’s serve was going well. In the first set, Terry and Peter had things mainly their own way to win it 6-1 with some decent tennis.
But in the second set Terry and Peter were more nervous, and, at the hard court end, everyone found it difficult with the low sun down the court. Matt and partner played more consistently and served a little stronger, while Terry and Peter made more errors. At 5 all, it was turning into a bit of a struggle, but Terry and Peter managed to win one or two critical points in the next couple of games to take the set 7-5 and the match 6-1 7-5.
On Friday 15 July there were three matches played in the men’s singles.
Jean-Philippe (known as J P) Doumeng played and beat Dan Dalton 6-1 6-0.
On court 2 in the evening, Eugene Belin played Joseph Rigal, who is now men’s second team captain, and now has a job as a tennis reporter for Tennishead magazine. Both players played very consistently, but Joseph had the higher weight of shot, and, with more aggression, could put pressure on Eugene. In the first set, Eugene got to 40 love up on his service, but couldn’t convert it to a game. He tried serve and volley on some occasions, but Joseph could generally pass Eugene or hit it through him with pace which gave him no chance to get the ball back. Joseph won the first set 6-0. In the second set Eugene managed to convert a lead in points in a couple of games into service games, but didn’t threaten Joseph’s serve, so Joseph took the set 6-2 and the match 6-0 6-2.
After Joseph and Eugene had finished, Peter Davies (i.e. me) played Peter Farrell. Neither has played much singles recently. Peter D had a hip replacement in November and was relieved to be able to finally get back to playing a few sets of singles again. He generally served well and could force weak returns from Peter F and run him around the court. However, Peter F really is mister consistency. If he can get to a ball he will generally hit it back into court, including the ability to hit it close to the side lines on an angled shot. He has a strong backhand and can hit strong first serves within a couple of inches of the service line, though his second serve is weaker. Not only that, but his stamina is superb, as he does a lot of cycling, and he can chase balls all around the court. The gist of it is that Peter D had to hit winners to win points, or at least balls to which Peter F couldn’t get his racket to completely, and made a number of errors in the process.
The match was very tight, decided only by a few critical points. In both sets, the score reached 4 all and Peter F then held his service game, but Peter D couldn’t keep up the consistency under pressure of serving at 4-5 and got broken for a 6-4 6-4 victory to Peter Farrell. Although I lost, was a most enjoyable match with some good tactics going on. Nice to be back to singles.