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.