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This was the first time for many years that our Finals Day has been held in September and, despite the distractions of football on the field and a blustery wind the day was a success. Some excellent tennis was on show and it was disappointing that more club members weren’t present to watch.
Many thanks to the umpires, Caroline, Mike, Russell and Matt, those who acted as line judges and, especially, those who did some special baking for the event!
Annie served first and was quickly 40-0 up only for Lorraine to get her game into gear and win 5 points in a row and the first game. Annie was keeping in the rallies, winning points in every game, but Lorraine was playing strong controlled tennis and it was 3-0 to Lorraine before Annie got onto the scoreboard. She broke serve to make it 3-1 but then failed to hold serve to narrow the gap and it was 4-1 to Lorraine. Lorraine held service to lead 5-1 and then broke to 15 to take the first set 6-1.
Lorraine’s game became stronger in the 2nd set and she was soon 4-0 ahead although Annie reached deuce in the 3rd game as she continued to chase every ball. A strong game from Annie saw her break Lorraine’s service for the second time to make it 4-1, but Lorraine recovered well, breaking Annie to love and serving out for the title. The score, 6-1 6-1.
With the wind causing havoc before the players got to grips with the conditions, the first three games were service breaks but then James held service after three deuces to lead 3-1. Andy then held serve and broke James’ service to level at 3-3 and so it continued until James broke service to lead 6-5 and serve for the first set. However, Andy was strong and broke back to go into a tie-break which he won 7-2 to take the first set 7-6 after 5 minutes short of an hour.
Andy had a dream start in the second set, breaking James in the first game, holding his own service and then breaking James’ serve again after a deuce to lead 3-0. 3 games short of victory, Andy was thinking about the title but James had other ideas, breaking Andy’s service to 30 to trail 1-3. The next game was a key one for James, who held service after two deuces to cut the deficit to a game. Andy was now wobbling after looking so strong and James took immediate advantage, breaking him to love to level the score at 3-3. In three games, the set was over, won 6-3 by James with a string of 6 games.
The final set saw Andy determined to break James’ stranglehold on the match but his service was broken in the opening game despite three deuces. James backed up the break with a strong game to lead 2-0 before Andy held after a deuce to trail 1-2. James’ next service game went to deuce and again he held on to lead 3-1. The longest game of the match was the next one in which Andy had to hold service to give himself a chance of catching up but after six deuces it was James who prevailed to lead 4-1. Andy wasn’t finished yet, though, taking James to deuce on his serve before winning it to make the score 4-2. However, this was merely a temporary setback for James who broke back to 30 and served out the set 6-2 to win 6-7 6-3 6-2 after just over 2 hours play.
The match started with three breaks of serve, Sheppard dropping her service after 3 deuces and Atkins losing hers before Norman’s service was also broken. Partridge then held her serve but Sheppard again dropped hers to make the score 4-1 to Atkins and Partridge. Norman and Sheppard then decided anough was enough and a string of 5 games took them to 6-4 and a lead of one set to love.
All four players held their services at the start of the second set but, after Norman had again held to make it 3-2 to her and Sheppard, Partridge lost her service to 30. Sheppard held her service for a 5-2 lead to herself and Norman before Atkins held on to reduce the deficit to 5-3. However, Norman held serve for the 3rd time to make it 6-3 and with it the title went to herself and Sheppard with a score of 6-4 6-3.
Last year’s winners Andy Sayer & David Smith were up against three-times champions Dom Evan-Hart & James Brennan. With a player on both sides of the net well warmed up from the singles final, some entertaining tennis was expected and we were not disappointed.
Andy opened the serving for the holders but lost the game from deuce so the challengers were ahead from the start with an early break. Dom consolidated the break with a strong game but David served to love to pull one back for the champions. James then dropped his service and it was 2-2. Andy was once again broken from deuce and another strong service game from Dom made it 4-2 to the challengers. Once again David held his service to reduce the deficit but this time James held his service to love to make it 5-3. Andy was tested again on his service and, with Dom rifling his returns back towards David and nearly knocking the racket from his hand, Dom and James won the first set 6-3.
The second set followed a similar pattern to the first. Dom won his opening service game to 15 and Andy lost his to make it 2-0 to Dom & James. James then lost his service after a deuce and David won his service to level the score at 2-2. Dom again held service strongly but Andy was relieved to hold his service for the first time and the score was again level at 3-3. James, who had been struggling on his service games now held after a couple of deuces and now it was David’s turn to drop his service for the first time to make the score 5-3 to Dom & James. With Dom’s service to come, the result was no longer in doubt as he again served out to 15 to reclaim the title with James; the score, 6-3 6-3.