Apologies to our avid readers in the USA, Japan and elsewhere for the late appearance of the first tournament match reports. Unfortunately it has been a year since I have written anything on the web site, and I have completely forgotten my ID and password. (James has now fixed this for me)!
The 2017 West Heath tournament started on Thursday and one or two matches were played before the weekend. It rained a little Saturday morning and the grass wasn’t playable until after the Wimbledon Ladies’ Final had finished.
It’s not quite clear when Richard Nightingale played Logan Mair in the singles, but Richard did much better in the first set than the second. Logon won the match 6-3 6-0.
The porous macadam courts supposedly dried a little faster and the day’s matches kicked off with a mixed doubles. Richard Nightingale and Sally Tornow took on the third seeds, Tim Simpson and Ana on a hard court, with the seeds coming out on top 6-0 6-1. Richard commented that he was now out of all the events, and it was only the first Saturday.
Ben Torns is only 11 but is already playing at a respectable club adult standard. He is very keen to play, and it almost seems even more keen to play and win if his father Roger is on the other side of the net. Ben kicked off his tournament with a match against Steve Gordon. This had to be on a hard court as the grass had not dried out. It sounds like a good match. Ben won the first set 6-4, but said his energy dipped in the second set in spite of the pancakes and whipped cream among other items on his breakfast menu. Steve took that one 6-2, setting the scene for an exciting finale. Maybe the pancakes finally came through with the energy because Ben took the final set 6-4 for a 6-4 2-6 6-4 victory. Bring on Cedric de la Chaise, who had better watch out in 3 or 4 year’s time.
Later Ben and Roger Torns played together against Stan Vasilyev and Paul O’Flynn. There were some comments by the Torns that it was difficult to get to the net. Probably Stan and Paul were hitting the ball too hard to enable net approaches, but normally you would bank on some inconsistency from this pair to pick up a few points. On this occasion Stan and Paul won 6-0 6-0. Ben may be looking for a new partner next year…….
Peter Davies and Lazos Szucs played the first singles match on grass. Lazos is a new member and very keen to play singles, especially during the day. He’s played a match for both the first and second team so far. Peter struggled as Lazos seemed to be able to put the ball on a sixpence at will, and his chopped forehand is very effective on grass. Lazos took the match 6-1 6-1.
Anna Ganev took on Marjan Denis, the defending champion and first seed. Apparently Anna has improved a lot since last year and in the first game Marjan felt the pressure was on her to win convincingly and she was a little nervous generating pace from Anna’s consistent but slower balls. However, it looks like Marjan soon found the winning formula and won 6-0 6-0.
Jason Maratos played Greg Lim in the singles. Greg typically has very accurate ground strokes which serve him well on grass. His ground-stroke technique starts with a short, late take-back followed by a very fast forward stroke. Not quite a slap, but perhaps a little reminiscent of Sultan Gangji’s style. This usually enables Greg to cope with the “West Heath bounce” well. On this occasion he was too much for Jason. Greg took the match 6-0 6-0.
Sunday match reports to follow.