Tuesday, 18 November 2014

2014 British Open - Queen's Club


Sunday 16th was my 1st round match in this years British Open sponsored by Neptune investment management.

My opponent in the 1st round, the very talented left-handed Conor Medlow (2011 Amateur Champion). A repeat of a 2nd round match from last years (2013) Open, Which presented a tough 1st round match. With the memory of a 4 set victory last year in the back of my mind I went into the match with a clear plan.
I raced off to a 4/0 start to the match with Conor giving away quite a few unforced errors but then settled into the match and I played a few undisciplined games and all of a sudden even at 5/2 up Conor kept coming and before I knew it I was facing a set point against me at 5/5 30-40, thank fully a Hazard chase of which I chipped my return into the 1st gallery to win the point. I went on to take the set 6/5 which was massive in the context of the match.

I again started the 2nd set well and this time was able to keep Conor at bay and take the set 6/3, for a 2-0 lead in set's.

The start of the 3rd set saw Conor again give a few unforced errors and I was able to get away to a 5/1 lead. To Conor's credit he again rallied (pardon the pun) and was able to pull a couple of games back but I kept my concentration on the job at hand and closed the set out 6/3 for a strong 3-0 victory 6/5 6/3 6/3.

I was really pleased to take the match in straight sets as I didn't feel I struck the ball that well at times and thought I played slightly better last year winning in 4 sets on that occasion.

Next up is a match-up against World Number 5 Tim Chisholm, again a rematch from the 2013 British Open. I'm very much looking forward to the match. Tim is a class player but I feel if I can come to the table with my 'A' game a positive result isn't out of the question.

For info on draws or ticketing please visit the Tennis & Rackets website.


Premier Division National League 14/15

(slightly delayed post)


Saturday 1st November was the first match of the season for RTC's Premier Division team. Peter Wright and myself welcomed Ben Matthews and Jonathan Dawes representing Leamington. After a season without the Premier Division tennis it was great to have it back.

60 odd people turned out in anticipation of a great night's tennis. Peter was on first against Jonathan for the 2nd string singles match. Peter started strong by taking the 1st set 6/4 with some really strong rallies. Peter then lead 4/2 in the 2nd set and was closing in on a straight set's win to please the home crowd. Jonathan never gave up even carrying a slight injury (to be expected...) but never gave up and was able to get himself into the match and took the 2nd set 4/6 to level the match. Peter couldn't quite get back to the level he played the 1st set and a half at and Jonathan kept the pressure on and took the match with the 3rd set 3/6. Leamington with the 1st rubber.

Next up was myself taking on World Number 7 Ben Matthews and new Head Professional at Leamington. I didn't start particularly well and trailed 1/3 in the 1st set. I was able to up the intensity with some tight railroad serving and strung 5 games in a row to take the 1st set 6/3. I again started slowly and trailed 1/4, I was making a few errors but ultimately not quite hitting my targets. I again was able to up my intensity and started to string points together and like the 1st set was able to put 5 winning games in a row to take a straight sets win 6/3 6/4, which tied the night at 1 rubber all.

We were into a deciding doubles match, a sprint, 1 set 1st to 8 games to decide the match. The 1st couple of games were close but at 2/2 we lost our way. It is only the 2nd time Peter and I have played doubles together. Leamington got on top of us and all of a sudden we were looking down the barrel at 3/7. Peter hit two fantastic overhead F/H volleys which got his tail up and then started to be stronger as a pair. We well and truly got ourselves back into the match and had multiple game points to get back to 7/8 before I made a bit of a silly/disappointing error to lose the match 6/8.

It was great to have so many people into the club to watch the match. We hope the support continues in the 3 remaining home matches. 6th December vs Queen's, 31st January vs Petworth and 28th March vs Holyport. Also a big thank you to my lovely wife for all her hard work serving the food to all the guests.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

IRTPA Championships 2014 - Manchester


The IRTPA Championships have come and gone for another year. Manchester again hosted the tournament which is a great club to go play a tournament, the members are very welcoming and its location to the centre of town is almost perfect.

My draw changed a few times. Originally being seeded 6th and due to face Bryn Sayers in the quarter finals, unfortunately Rob Fahey had to withdraw to travel home to Australia at short notice. Bryn moved into Rob's spot as the new number 2 seed. My seeding changed to #5 and Ricardo Smith now #4 moved into Bryn's spot.
I then arrived in Manchester to find out Ricardo (now working at Newport, Rhode Island) lost his passport somewhere between leaving the house and checking in at Boston airport so his opponent in the 1st round was given a bye into the quarter final.

I won my 1st round 6/1 6/1 6/1 over Leon Smart who was playing his 1st tournament as a newly turned professional and working as a trainee/assistant at Middlesex University.

My quarter final now against Craig Greenhalgh and ex-Manchester Pro could of been a tricky affair as he knows the court so well. Having said that I have now played 6 IRTPA Championships in Manchester so even I know the court pretty well now. I played well and raced through the 1st set 6/0 and lead 3/0 in the 2nd set (halfway to a triple bagel...) I managed to take the 2nd set 6/1 to lead 2-0. Craig played much better in the 3rd set but I was able to keep my nose in front and took the 3rd set 6/3 for a fairly comfortable straight sets victory and into the semi final of the IRTPA Champs for the 3rd year running.

My Semi final was a much much tougher assignment facing the World Number 1 Camden Riviere who is in hot form after going down in the World Championship earlier in the year losing only 1 set in the US Pro Singles and French Open combined...
Unfortunately I started a little slowly and couldn't hit a gallery to save my life until about the 4th game. Camden is so quick around the court that its very difficult to beat him on the floor. Winning openings and galleries became very important. I lost the set 0/6 in pretty quick time which was disappointing.
The 2nd set was much better from my point of view but was still unable to make major in roads against Camden's game. I went down 3/6 but felt a little hard done by at times with a few narrow misses of Grille's and galleries which could of made a difference. Now down 0-2 in sets.
The 3rd set didn't get any better in terms of the scoreline but I take some positives that even though i lost the set 0/6 which was hugely disappointing to lose to 'love' sets many of the 6 games in the 3rd set went to Deuce.

Onwards and upwards as they say. Next up is a home Premier Division National League match on the 1st November against Leamington, my opponent being Ben Matthews. Following this is the biggest tournament on the Real Tennis calendar, The British Open being held at the Queen's Club. The draw came out this week. I play Conor Medlow 12pm Sunday 16th November.

Tickets are still available for the Premier match from the Pros Office 020 8977 3015.
Draws for the British Open can be found at IRTPA website


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

French Open 2014 - Paris


Last night I played my heart out in probably one of my best preformanances on the tennis court to date. 

I started well in the 1st set and won the first two games. In fact I served a winning gallery railroad to win the 1st game of the first set (first time in my career). After I got out to a 2/0 lead Rob settled into his game and kept the pressure on. I felt good and was sticking to my plan but the set although long in duration was and did get away from me. 3/6 and first set to Rob. 

I again started the 2nd set well and although went 1/2 down I was able to play some really consistant tennis and held the service end for more of the set than rob did. I went 5/3 up in games and held what felt like 6-8 set points in the 9th game. Rob was able to pin me down the hazard end and he eventually took the game. Still leading 4/5 we had another long deuce game where I saved a few game points but was able to take the set and my first against Rob in 5 or so matches against the World Champion. 6/4 and 1-1 set all. 

I was now serving my giraffe (high dropping serve) really well and was able to stop Rob's dominant return of serves from doing the damage. When getting down to the hazard end I was able to put Rob on the back foot somewhat with my own strong returning game. This set was tight all the way. I went 5/4 up after hitting a winning gallery defending a chase. It was the first emotion I showed on court with the smallest of fist pumps or less a fist clench... Rob levelled at 5/5 and we were at 30 all two chases. I go down to the hazard end and Rob pulls out his best two serves of the match to take (snatch) the set from right under my nose. 5/6 and Rob leading 1-2 in sets. 

My serving started to drop away and I served roughly 12 first serves as faults in a row which meant Rob was able to see a lot of 2nd serves. And through this period I went down 1/4. I remember saying to my self at this point not to be satisfied with getting somewhat close. I was able to get back to a frame of mind that saw me play the best tennis I could muster to win 5 games in row to again lead the World Champion 5/4. Rob again levelled at 5/5 and again we were locked at 30 all in the 5 all game. I can remember it well... (shakes head as writing) Rob hit a slightly wild attempt at a main wall dedans force which went high and ricoched around to the service penthouse and gave me a backhand volley that 99 times out of a 100 I whip cross court to the tambour/grille corner with heavy cut and win the point. On this 1 out of the 100 I decide to hit the volley down the line and miss time it and hit back wall on the full of which Rob doesn't need another invitation to finish off a point with an emphatic dedans strike. Match point down yet so close to taking the set myself I chase the ball down the court and norowally miss the grille with a backhand and rob flicks the ball up only for it to be high enough to be awkward and miss time the volley into the net and the match is unfortunately lost 3/6 6/4 5/6 5/6. 

It was a bit of a weird feeling at the end of the match. So much to be proud of ie; getting so close and playing so well for 3 whole hours (yes 3 hours) of actual game time and yet be so disappointed to lose the match regardless of who it is in such a close encounter let alone Rob Fahey.

There are so many positives to take away and plenty to learn from and improve on. It is still the 1st match I've played at this level for 10 months and now have to back up again and again. The next tournament being the IRTPA Championships in Manchester starting in mid October. 


Saturday, 20 September 2014

French Open 2014 - Paris


I can't tell you how excited I am to play this French open! 

The French open is to be the 1st major tournament for me since I dislocated my shoulder 10 months ago at the British open but also after working so closely with Rob Fahey over an 6-8 month stretch in preparation and throughout his World Championship defence earlier in the year which has inspired me even more (if possible).

The only downside to the French open is the fact I have drawn the World Champion himself in the 1st round which is a tough draw to say the least but I always knew I was going to just miss out on being seeded so my job now is to get out there and trust in what I've been practicing and learnt from Rob and give it my all. 

There is hopefully going to be streaming but as yet I'm not sure of the details. 


Friday, 12 September 2014

The new season... 2014/15


Well hasn't it been a while since my last blog! Following the World Championship in May I flew back to London for a month and then headed back out to Melbourne to marry Miss Carly Feore on June 22 which was an amazing day with friends and family. For our Honeymoon we flew to Los Angeles for 3 nights, San Francisco for 2 nights and Las Vegas for 7 full nights which was amazing. (Photo's of our special day can be found here).

The rest of the Summer has been spent preparing for the upcoming season. First on the agenda is the French Open at Paris 22-29 September. With it being a very strong field I have missed out on being seeded and have been drawn to play Rob Fahey in the 1st round which I'm looking forward to after working so closely with him through his successful World Championship defence.

We then head to Manchester for the IRTPA Championships 15-20 October. I am likely to play Claire Fahey (nee Vigrass after also tying the knot over the summer) in the 1st round.

It's then back to the British Open to be held again at Queen's 16-25 November which was the last tournament I played after dislocating my shoulder at last years Open. The draw for the Open will be done sometime in October and we'd be expecting a pretty strong field of players.

I have just booked my trip to head home to Melbourne to play in the Australian Open in January held at my old club the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club 13-21 January.

There are currently no dates for the US Open or US Professional singles but sometime in March and June respectively.

Draws for the tournaments can be found at the IRTPA website.

The National League Premier Division is again back this season with Peter Wright and myself to represent RTC against 4 strong teams, which are;
Leamington - Ben Matthews/Jon Dawes,
Queen's - Conor Medlow/Andrew Fowler,
Petworth - Bryn Sayers/Tom Durack and
Holyport - Rob Fahey/Claire Fahey

All 4 home matches have now been scheduled and just waiting for 3 remaining dates for the away matches. There is a sign up sheet in the Pro's Office with tickets to the 1st of the home matches with prices starting at £15. Under 18's are free for the Hazard Top Gallery.
Dates for RTC's Premier matches are below with a 5pm start time, Away times will vary;
- 1st November HOME vs Leamington
- 6th December HOME vs Queen's
- 31st January HOME vs Petworth
- 19th February AWAY vs Queen's
- 28th March HOME vs Holyport


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

2014 World Championship - Melbourne


Thursday 8th May - Day 2 of the World Championship was again another amazing display of Real Tennis.

Riviere again won the 1st set of the night 6/2 and the 5th set overall in similar fashion to the 1st night to give him a 3-2 lead in the World Championship.

Set 6 started with two very long deuce games which were split 1 a piece, the score was again tied at 2/2 before Fahey was able to establish a lead of 5/2. Riviere was desperate not to let the set go without a fight and was able to get back to 4/5 before Fahey closed it out 6/4 and the sets were again tied now and 3-3

Another tight game in the opening game of the 7th set of which Riviere edged a long deuce game to lead 1/0 but it was again some vintage Fahey tennis that saw him race to a 5/1 lead and I have been told that he won 19 of 20 points which is an amazing feat. He closed it out 6/1 and now for the 1st time in the match he had the lead 4-3

Fahey again looked the stronger of the two players as the night wore on and with the 8th set overall and the last of the 4 sets for Thursday's play he was able to keep the pressure on Riviere and took the set 6/3 which was probably the most important of all the sets so far with the current set score. A 5-3 lead was huge for Fahey going into the final days play.

Saturday 10th May - Day 3 of the World Championship, well was meant to be the final days play but due to a very humid and wet day in Melbourne the court was sweating and in the end deemed unplayable which was frustrating for all parties concerned. After play was due to start at 2pm local time the call finally came at 5.30pm to postpone play until Sunday 11th May.

Quite a few of the spectators were a little green around the gills after a long day at the club on the Saturday waiting for the play to start which never came. I don't think I've ever seen so many hungover people in one place... Thats not to say that when the final day's play finally got under way at 11am local time Sunday they weren't as loud as they had been on the 1st and 2nd day's play.

After Fahey's slow starts on Day's 1 and 2 he was determined to get off to a better start on day 3 and that's exactly what happened racing out to a 3/0 start, Riviere tried to get back into it and came close to getting back to 2/3 but Fahey was able to save a game point before taking the game and cementing a 4/1 lead in the set. All of a sudden it was game and the 9th set 6/2 to Fahey and the defending Champ was only a set away from clinching what some people thought probably couldn't happen with the age difference between the two players.

Riviere had clearly ran out of ideas on what to serve to Fahey with a huge variety of 1st serves in the 10th set to try and find something that could limit the domination of Fahey as it had now been 4 sets on the bounce. It never came as the Champ raced through what was to be the last set of the match and almost unbelievably clinch the World Championship in style 6/0 and his 12th World Championship of which he has held or rather owned since 1994.

The final score - 0/6 5/6 6/4 6/3 2/6 6/4 6/1 6/3 6/2 6/0

It was an amazing match to witness first hand and to be involved in. It is something I want to get the chance to fight for in our great game and it was truly a fantastic opportunity to be a part of.

The footage can be found on www.youtube.com and by searching 2014 Real Tennis World Championship. It was definitely worth checking out as the quality of the footage is brilliant.



Wednesday, 7 May 2014

2014 World Championship - Melbourne


I was very privileged to witness day 1 of the World Championship on Tuesday night first hand. I have come to Melb to be a part of Team Fahey as his practice partner. We had 2 sessions a week for 10 weeks before flying out to Melb and then a further 10 sessions leading into Tuesday's match day.

Fahey looks as fit as he's even been which is an amazing feat considering he turned 46, only days before the WC started. Camden Riviere 19 years his junior is the inform player of the game as he has only two losses in the last two years, A loss to Fahey at the 2012 British Open and a loss to Virgona in the 2013 Australian Open (A loss that came at this years WC venue).

The 1st set was over in a flash, Riviere didn't make a single unforced error and raced through the set 6/0. The 1st time Fahey has ever lost the 1st set in a WC match.

Fahey had better luck making inroads to try and dent the Riviere game and found his way to 5/4 but it was again Riviere that took the set 6/5 to lead 2-0 in sets.

In terms of the Fahey camp things returned to normal in the 3rd set were Fahey raced out to 3/1 before an injury break was needed for Riviere who managed to knock his head against the Tambour wall and opened him self up. Upon the restart Fahey put the foot down hitting some vintage and devastating cut volley returns. Fahey taking the set 6/3 with the very pro Aussie crowd blowing the roof off the court, 1-2 in sets.

The 4th and last set for tonights play was among the best Tennis anyone has ever seen. Even though Fahey found himself at 5/2 up there had been a number of deuce games and amazingly long wrests. Fahey looking stronger as the match went on and after Riviere fought back to 4/5 there was an amazing wrest of which Riviere had Fahey on a string especially forcing Fahey stretching low into the F/H corner at the Hazard end 4 times in a row to retrieve the ball before going on to win the point of which must of hurt Riviere mentally seeing the 46 year old Champ running the ball down with sheer will and strength. 6/4 to Fahey and 2 sets all!!!!

The players come out to continue the fight for the World Championship crown today Thursday 8th May 6.30pm local time (9.30am BST). Live Streaming and replays can be found at www.youtube.com and by searching 2014 Real Tennis World Championship.


Monday, 17 February 2014

2014 Seacourt Silver Racquet


Seacourt Tennis Club yet again hosted the Silver Racquet 7-9 February which is a handicap tournament open to those under a 9.4 handicap with those above 9.4 needing to qualify. 
With 2014 being a World Championship year I was the only top 10 world ranked player to enter this years event and off a handicap +2.3 it was going to be a difficult assignment let alone this being my 1st tournament since dislocating my shoulder in November at the Open. 
I always enjoy going to the Seacourt club which would rank in my top 3 clubs to play at.

My 1st assignment on Friday was to play young Darren Long assistant professional at Canford. I had to give him a handicap of 5 (owe 1/2 15, rec 1/2 15). The 1st set was a close affair with the majority of the games going to seeding, I would win the owe 15 game and Darren would win the rec 15 game. It was going to go down to the wire. Darren was able to grab the lead and I couldn't stop him taking the set 4/6. He then took the 1st game of the 2nd set (an owe 15 game). I was yet to win a rec 15 game but all that was about to change as I settled and played some very positive tennis and was able to race through the set taking it 6/1. This good form continued as I won the last 6/0 winning the last 12 games of the match to take the match 4/6 6/1 6/0. 

After a very enjoyable dinner at the club on the Friday night I took on Andrew Lyons Head Professional at the Queen's Club on Saturday. I had to give Drew a handicap of 3 (rec 1/2 15). Drew is a tricky customer as he knows the Seacourt court well as he grew up on it. Even though I wasn't hitting the ball as well as I would of liked I was serving my railroad very well and tying Drew up but unfortunately I was a little grille happy and sprayed the ball up onto the penthouse on too many occasions. I was although able to have a set point at 5/4 but ultimately Drew deserved to take the set 5/6. I went 0/2 down in the 2nd and knew it was time to dig the heels in and make smarter choices. In almost déjà vu from yesterday's match I went on the rampage and could feel Drew getting tired. I took 6 games in a row to win the 2nd set 6/2 and also went 3/0 in the 3rd after a 9 game run only losing a 40 all game at 3/0 which allowed Drew to stop my charge. Thankfully only temporarily as I closed out the match 6/2 in the 3rd. 5/6 6/2 6/2. 

I was through to a semi final and one of the 1st + handicappers to get through to the semi finals of the silver racket for a number of years and my next opponent was Adrian Kemp Senior Professional at the Paris club. I had to give 11 points to AJ which was rec 1/2 15, owe 30.
I started well winning the 1st two games but then AJ became very tricky as he just kept getting ball after ball back and was hitting his galleries well in turn not allowing me to control the match from the service end. Even though I was winning about 2/3rds of the points it wasn't enough to stop AJ taking the 1st set 2/6.
I changed my serve at the start of the 2nd set serving a very consistent demi pique and had much more success keeping the service end and reeling point after point off. I kept plugging away but lost a number of 40 all games. I held a game point at 4/4 with a hazard chase and twice put the ball on the penthouse. I lost that game and then the match losing 2/6 4/6.

I had a very enjoyable weekend down on Hailing Island despite the weather and a big thank you to the Garside family for taking Carly and I in for a couple of nights to give us a roof over our heads.

For the record AJ went on to win the Silver Racket without dropping a set.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

2013 - 'good times and not so good times....'


I thought with the new year now upon us it was time for an update of all things tennis as well as an injury update.

2013 was a pretty good year on court but it of course didn't end well going down with a fairly serious injury in my 1st British Open Semi Final in the doubles. On that front the rehab has been going well and feeling improvement each day. I have gone from first using rubber bands to light weights to swimming and now I find myself back on court practicing as of the last couple of weeks. I have also entered the Seacourt Silver Racket to be played in only a couple of weeks 7/8/9 February.
The start of the year has already seen the completion of the Australian Open of which was disappointing for me as I had to withdraw due to the dislocated shoulder. The US Open starts on the 24th of January but have had to miss it as well due to lack of preparation.

2013 tournament round up;
January - US Open, I started the year with a Quarter Final after defeating Rob Whitehouse in the 1st round I ran into Bryn Sayers and lost in a tight 3 sets.

May - Australian Open, Even though I made another Quarter Final I was a little disappointed in my trip down under. Firstly scrapping by my 1st round in the ugliest match of my career to date (due to injury times and broken play) defeating Nick Howell in 5 sets after being two to the good. Then going down to Kieran Booth (World Number 7) for the 4th time in a row in a tight 4 sets which was a great opportunity to make a Semi Final of an Open.

April - Premier National League, Nick Wood and I competed in the season's national league Premier Divison. I was able to defeat Ben Matthews (world number 6) twice at his home court at Hatfield before defeating Ricardo Smith (World Number 11) in the final which was to clinch the title of Premier Divison winner without taking it to the doubles.

June - The Inaugural Middlesex British Challenge, Open to the top 8 British residents this was a new tournament, unique in the fact the Final was over the Challenge format of the best of 13 sets of which I really wanted to do well in to get the chance to play over said Challenge format. This was the highest point of 2013 on court for me and after defeating plucky Tom Durack in 5 sets to open the tournament I faced Ben Matthews (World Number 6) in the Semi Final and in a tough match that could of gone either way. I closed it out with a 6/5 6/5 6/5 victory and my 1st over Ben in a tournament. I then took on a somewhat of a surprising finalist in Ricardo Smith who had defeated the current British open and world number 4 Bryn Sayers in the other Semi final. The final being played over the best of 13 sets saw the 1st 4 sets played on the Tuesday. This to say the least didn't quite go to plan. Ricardo played an amazing 4 sets and took all 4. I took 2 of the 4 on offer on the Thursday while also saving a match point in the 4th set. Saturday saw Ricardo only needing 1 set to win which unfortunately he did at the 1st attempt to leave me with being content as runner-up in my 1st 'big' final.

September - French Open/World Championship doubles, I was somewhat unlucky in both draws here as twice just missing out on being the last seed. This meaning I drew Steve Virgona (world number 3) in the 1st round. I felt I competed well and took my 1st ever set off Steve but went down in 4 sets. In the doubles I partnerd Rich Smith and we pitted against Camden Riviere and Tim Chisholm. We took the 3rd set but were outclassed losing in 4 sets.

October - European Open, again the tournament was held at Lords on the MCC court. Due to a couple of withdrawal's I was seeded 4th for this tournament. I had a good straight sets win over a tricky 1st up opponent in Jon Dawes and then ran into the world champion Rob Fahey. I was totally outclassed in the semi final in front of a pretty big crowd which was a little disappointing but lessons we're learnt!

October - IRTPA Championships, we headed up to Manchester after the completion of the European open for back to back tournaments. I was again seeded 4th in this tournament. I had a 3-0 victory over a young Neil Mckenzie and then ran into the fastly improving Darren (doink) Long who was on a bit of a winning streak. I thankfully ended his recent good form in a solid straight sets victory to set up a re-match with Rob Fahey only a week after playing him at lords. I felt I played much better in this match but try as I might I couldn't stop the greatest Real Tennis player ever from winning 10 games in a row in the middle of the match which was very disappointing.

November - British open, most of the top players in the world headed for Queen's Club for the open championships. I was seeded 8th in this tournament and after getting a bye through to the 2nd round I faced Conor Medlow who if more than 8 were seeded would of been the 9th seed, so a tough draw. I started well taking the 1st set but dropped my discipline in the 2nd to lose it for 1 all in sets. Leading 2/2 in the 3rd we had a 23 minute game which I was to win and turn into a 6/1 3rd set and 5/0 in the 4th before taking in 6/1 in the 4th set. That win set up a quarter final match against Tim Chisholm (world number 5) I didn't feel like it was my best night at the office but the problem was only made worse by the serving display and hitting power of Tim as I went down in straight sets. 
In the doubles I partnered fellow Aussie Kieran Booth. We we're seeded 4th and again after getting a bye through to the Quarter final were we faced 5th seeds Andrew Lyons and James Male. We were still figuring things out in the 1st set and after losing it settled into our game winning in a very enjoyable 4 sets. I was now through to my 1st British Open Semi final. We were really looking forward to the match against Bryn Sayers and Tim Chisholm but as mentioned this was the low point of the year for me when slipped in the 3rd game and dislocated my shoulder.

It will be deep into 2014 before I play my 1st major tournament when the French open kicks off next season in September. Between now and then I'll play the Seacourt Silver Racket and Browning Cup which are both handicap tournaments before going down to be practice partner for Rob Fahey in his world championship defence back home in Melbourne.

The highlight off court in 2014 will be my wedding to wed my beautiful partner Carly again back home in June before honeymooning in LA, San Francisco and Vegas on our way back to London. 

Many thanks to everyone for they're support.