The Ladies’ Doubles league started on Saturday with both Crowthorne’s teams facing opposition from Royal Ascot.
The 1sts travelled to Ascot to play their 1st team in Division 4 and, in two rubbers of fluctuating fortunes, both Crowthorne pairs won their first matches in deciding tie-breaks. Jenny Sheppard & Ravinder Norman found it hard in their first set losing 6-7 against Christine Thomas & Helen Sommerville but then cruised through the second to win 6-0 and then take the decider. Tina Stern & Annie Atkins recorded a similar scoreline against Ruth Graham & Kristy Leeming, losing their first set 5-7 but winning the second 6-1 and winning the deciding tie-break.
In the second round Stern & Atkins had a battle against Thomas & Sommerville but lost out 5-7 5-7 but Sheppard & Norman managed to win their second set 6-1 after losing the first 3-6 against Graham & Leeming. In a close tie-break, Sheppard’s certain winner just grazed her partner’s head to give the opposition match point which they duly converted to square the match. Despite a games score of 44-37 to Crowthorne, it was the sets score of 6-5 to Ascot that decided the match.
Meanwhile at home in Division 8, it was an unexpected 3-1 win for Ladies’ 2 against Ascot 2. The win was particularly notable as our team contained two members playing a match for Crowthorne for the first time and a third who had played her first match earlier this year. Jenny Partridge, captaining the Crowthorne team, partnered Kristina Hani-Elauod who was playing her first match, and they won both of their rubbers in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 against the visiting 1st pair Sarah Hinds & Carolyn Everett and 6-3 6-1 against Susan Knight & Gillian Clark.
Our other debutante, Charlotte Badarello, playing with Penny Hemingway in just her 4th match, won a tough first set 7-5 against Knight & Clark and went on to take the second set 6-2 to set up the match win. Although Badarello and Hemingway lost 3 and 1 against Hinds & Everett, it was a fine performance by all four players and a good start to the winter campaign.