“It was perfect conditions for the match today, on occasions sunny, no wind but mostly mild and cloudy. However there were a lot of emotions on court which were anything but mild as the closely fought battle was played out!” reported Alison Nicholson.
None of the four pairs had played together before but in the end all couples coped well with the pressure. It turned out to be a battle of the tie-breaks with 3 of the 4 matches being decided on championship tie-breaks so no one felt sure of winning until they were in the clubhouse.
Crowthorne 2’s first pair, Ravinder Norman and Chris Hughes, started slowly, losing the first set to Crowthorne 3’s first pair, Pauline Snell and Peter Lindholm, 4-6. However Pauline and Peter faded slightly after their strong start and ended up losing 1-6 1-0. On the other court, Alison Nicholson and Rob Hughes fought a tight first set which could have gone either way, with David Jubb serving very powerfully in particular – but Alison & Rob took it in the end 7-5 and Caroline Atkinson and David were less strong in the second set, going down 6-2. So two rubbers to love in favour of Crowthorne 2 at the mid-point – however, Crowthorne 3 had other plans.
Alison and Rob lost the first set to Pauline and Peter 5-7, with Pauline in particular playing some very strong forehands and Peter rallying convincingly. However Rob and Alison came back in the second set, taking it 6-3. The Championship tiebreak seemed all over, with Alison and Rob 9 points to 5 up, but somehow they still managed to lose it to Pauline and Peter, who deserved to win the rubber. Alison and Rob were left scratching their heads and Peter and Pauline were very jubilant to score a win.
On the other court, a marathon was being played out. Chris and Ravinder lost the first set 5-7 and the second set was even closer, this time with Crowthorne 2’s No 1 pair taking it on a tie break 7-6; then there was the Championship decider tie-break, and again Chris and Ravinder were victorious. In the end then Crowthorne 2 were the winners 3 rubbers to 1, 7 sets to 4, and 48 games to 37, scoring a useful 3 points to keep them at the top of the Division.
It was suggested that perhaps championship tie-breaks could be practised on Thursday nights at the club, though nothing can replicate the tense situation of a Berkshire league match – particularly when played against your own club!
It was a truly enjoyable afternoon – if, on occasions, rather frustrating to all – and if anyone else would like to be involved in the Mixed teams, please do contact Lorraine.firstname.lastname@example.org – we are always looking for people to play.