Phillips & Blatchford retain title

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John Phillips and Jon Blatchford retained their Men’s Doubles title after an hour of scintillating tennis on a damp Sunday morning at Crowthorne Tennis Club.  Mike Smith was in the umpire’s chair and got the score wrong at the end of the first game, but he improved as the match went on.  The play started in front of two spectators but, by the end of the match it had grown to 8 people and a dog.

Joking apart, this was a match that anyone who was there will have been glad to have witnessed.  With the bar raised high after a week of watching Wimbledon, some of the rallies had to be seen to be believed, mixing power with guile and fine technique.

The first three games went to deuce and all went against the serve before Phillips held to 15 to make the score 3-1 to the holders.  With Brennan next to be broken, the current champions looked to be heading for a straightforward victory before Blatchford lost his serve after being ahead and Finch held his to make the score 4-3 to Phillips/Blatchford.   The next game proved pivotal as Phillips again held serve after a deuce to draw the lead out to 5-3 before another two deuces in the Brennan service game finished with him being broken and the first set going to Phillips/Blatchford.

The second set was again characterised by a number of service breaks and deuces and, with just two service games being held, those from Jon Blatchford, the set went 6-2 to the holders and the title was retained.