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T&RA Newsletter – Christmas 2013


hief Executive Update

This has been another exciting start to the season. The most significant announcement was made by Robin Geffen (Neptune Investment Management) at the British Open when he pledged an additional five-year support package to Real Tennis. This extremely generous gesture will make a real difference in all respects up to the year 2020; not only is this good for the tournaments, it also permits the T&RA to support court development (urgently needed), further professional training and junior development. This is all harmoniously complemented by the Dedanist’s support to the elite programme and the newly formed Dedanist Foundation’s support to the grass roots of the game. The sporting highlights are covered later in this newsletter; however it was fabulous to see Steve Virgona capture his first British Open title, after many years as runner-up. Bryn Sayers made amends the following evening when he captured the Doubles title with partner Tim Chisholm, defeating the World Champions in the final. A possible star of the future won the Invitation Under 18s at Radley – Henry Mullan of Clifton. Meanwhile, another rising talent, Charlie Braham, picked up the Junior of the Year award and a Grays racquet, which all followed his success in the British Junior Open in August. The main events in the Rackets firmament were the season opening Manchester Gold Racket which saw Christian Portz triumph; followed closely by the Invitation Singles, which all proceeded according to plan setting up a grand finale between Alex Titchener-Barrett and Will Hopton. Hoppy was victorious, overturning ATB’s astonishing form earlier in the event. The other key event was the Amateur Singles, which saw ATB up against James Coyne. After both players fighting back from seeming defeat, it was ATB who managed the final surge to claim his sixth successive Amateur Singles title. Both players deserved their standing ovation. Finally, it is a fond farewell to Claire Vigrass who leaves her position as T&RA Membership Secretary to take up the role of Head Professional at Prested Hall. Unquestionably, the T&RA’s loss is Prested’s gain. The Association was fortunate to have the services of Andrina Webb ready to take up the challenge in the New Year.


ritish Junior Championships

Under 12 Final:H Thomas bt A Backhouse 8/3

Under 14 Final: N Milton bt B Yorston 2/6 6/4 6/5

Under 16 Final: M Lane bt H Hodgson 4/6 6/4 6/3

Under 18 Final: C Braham bt L Gale 2/6 6/5 6/2

Girls Plate Under 12: H Parry bt A Pye 6/3 Girls Plate Under 16: G Willis bt E Shenkman 8/5


ver 60s Amateur Doubles

Philip Shaw-Hamilton & Duncan Colquhoun dominated this event, winning the final by 8-0 over Vern Cassin and Mick Dean, who were never allowed into the game by the winners’ powerful and consistent hitting. This was despite a rather closer 6-3 result in the earlier round robin group stage, which had a few nerves jangling. The closest match of the day was the extended 6-4 victory of the losing finalists over Jamie Bebb and Marek Stefanovicz, in a set that swung to and fro with frequent comebacks from 0-40 by both teams. Vern Cassin’s drag serve was a feature of the day throughout his matches, as was Marek’s volleying and Jamie’s solid play at back court. The final places were contested by Colin Butler and Peter Harding who were th finally edged out of 4 place by Robin Barlow and the ageless ‘Silver Fox’ David Brazier in the final group game.


hetwood Trophy

Once again the RTC welcomed the country’s club handicap champions for the Chetwood Trophy, and again a talented young prodigy claimed the spoils.

too good for Pete Rose (52) of Prested Hall, who battled away and took his 6-4 defeat very graciously. Zuzana (70) was then up against John Balfour-Lynn (60) of Hatfield House. This match was nip and tuck, but John’s relentless side-wall serve won him a lot of easy points on the way to a 6-4 win. In the early stages of the final Irina held the service end and dominated. At 4-1 (in a match to 8) she was cruising. After two 40-all games were shared, however, Irina lost her focus and John smelled blood. He spent more time up at the service end and was rewarded with a 6-6 scoreline. Honours even – but Irina was going through a crisis of confidence. She played a strong game to go 7-6 up, and the next game went all the way to 40 all – championship point. Attacking a hazard chase, Irina netted. Remarkably, a tense final game also went to 40 all! After a few cautious strokes from both, John, at the service end, hit a ball to Irina’s backhand side. Stretching to get it back, Irina looped it up, and the spectators in the dedans saw it dropping towards them with a sense of inevitability. John saw it too, but too late. The ball nestled into the dedans netting and Irina was an elated and very relieved champion. It was a fitting climax to the weekend, and great credit should go to Nick Wood and his professional team, who dealt with all manner of logistical challenges before and during the weekend and marked with authority and patience.


heltenham 25

The anniversary of the re-opening of the College rackets court drew an excellent crowd of OC’s and members of the rackets fraternity from all over the world. It was Richard Morgan’s (Headmaster 19781989) swansong to reopen the Cheltenham rackets court in 1988, appreciating that College was one of the first four schools to compete in the Public Schools Doubles Competitions in 1868, and recognizing that it would raise College’s profile among schools and parents alike, securing a fixture list against the country’s top schools. Subsequent success has proved that this was a fine decision - College has not let him down!

With the competitors being made up of the finalists from each club’s handicap singles competitions, the Chetwood Trophy brings together players of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes and has a format that makes it hard to predict any of the results. After more than two days of round-robin play, the final four had a distinctly Anglo-Russian Hendon feel to it, with student Irina Dulbish and fellow Middlesex member Zuzana Botkova launching a joint assault. Irina, the captain of her university’s lawn tennis team, is still learning the nuances of the royal game but displayed a talent way beyond the 49 handicap she was playing off here, especially if anyone was foolish enough to feed her volleys. In her semi-final she was

To celebrate the weekend, current World Rackets Champion, Jamie Stout (H 97-02), the current World Doubles Champions (James Coyne and Will Hopton) and the current British Open Doubles Champions (OC’s Ben Snell L 97-02 and Nick James 01-06) together with Richard Owen (L 05-10) came in from all parts of the globe to participate in a series of exhibitions.

N There was a champagne reception ahead of the Evening Dinner held at the College to which over 100 OC’s, parents, guests and lovers of the game around th the country were in attendance. Karl Cook (in his 25 year at College) offered a few words on why rackets has worked as a sport at College, Charlie Liverton (OC Secretary) offered a (long) list of OC achievements and James Coyne (Old Wellingtonian and World Doubles Champion) offered a witty interpretation of the success of College’s players, past and present, from a T&RA perspective. The 65 Finals at the Public Schools Championships, Queen’s Club, the OC world champion, the British Open Doubles Champions, the countless British U21 and U24 champions, the 8 NARA fellows, the Cheltenham Masters Rackets Club squad – they all make College rackets what it is, but none more so than Mark Briers, current rackets pro, whose speech was brief, but whose contribution has been immeasurable. A wonderful weekend.


en’s World Doubles Champ’ship

An incredible final that saw Fahey/Virgona retain their title (for the 6 time) 6/5 in the th deciding 9 set. For those that were lucky enough to watch, it is widely acknowledged as the best doubles match to date. A full match report can be seen via the T&RA: =995

oel Bruce Cup

The Noel Bruce Public school doubles this year had one of the highest entries ever with 35 pairs entering the tournament and as with previous years, a qualifying tournament began with 5 seeds already through to the round of 16. What makes the Noel Bruce particularly interesting is that established doubles pairs that have won or dominated in other doubles tournaments are sometimes thrown into disarray as they are unable to play with each other as they did not attend the same school. This year threw up some tantalising doubles partnerships such Harry Foster and Lalit Bose (2012 Foster cup winner) or the return of Christian Portz and Sean Knight who are the only pair ever to win the public school doubles as a second pair. Of course thrown into the mix were last year’s winners, Harrow (Alex Titchner-Barrett and Charlie Danby) and the British Open doubles champions and last year’s runners-up, Cheltenham I of Nick James and Ben Snell.

The qualifying tournament began earlier this year starting on the Wednesday to ease timings issue and ran through to the Sunday with ten groups of three and winners only qualifying to the round of 16. However, not all seemed went to plan as some of the pairs whom you would expect to qualify with ease failed. Winchester II of Knight and C Portz failed to beat the wily old cats of Tonbridge I made up of the Spurling brothers, John and Adrian. Ten teams advanced to the round of 16 where again not all seemed to go according to plan. Most notably were Winchester III (A Portz | T Stevens) whom beat Harrow II (Foster | Bose) and Halibury I (Farmiloe | Billings) failed to beat Malvern I (R Tulley | T Bomford). The match of the Round of 16 was Charterhouse I (Gourlay | Wright) versus Wellington I (Coyne | Fuller). A smart tactical game from Charterhouse orchestrated by Gourlay frustrated Wellington and Charterhouse having gone 20 up were looking strong to advance to the ¼ finals. However, it is difficult to pull the wool over the eyes of one half of the current world doubles champions as Coyne adapted his game and after a tense third game which ended 18/17 to Wellington it was the fitness of the Carthusian pair which was the defining factor. The match ended 3-2 to Wellington. The quarter finals consisted of Harrow I v Winchester II, Wellington II v Winchester III, Eton I v Tonbridge IV, Malvern I v Cheltenham I. As written on paper, it went to plan as Harrow I, Wellington II an Eton I and Cheltenham I all dispatched their opposition with ease. The semi-finals were in place and ready for the best of

seven games. Harrow I showing their experience in winning the Noel Bruce on numerous occasions were two strong for Wellington I and on the other side of the draw Cheltenham made up of Nick James and Ben Snell were to take on Mark Hue-Williams and Guy Smith Bingham. This match proved to be a tantalising encounter with two legends of the doubles world and past champions of the Noel Bruce taking on the current British Open champions. With an unusual tactical game plan, Eton I started out with SmithBingham, a right handed player playing on the backhand and Hue-Williams a left-handed player playing on his backhand. Whether this was a ruse to disrupt Snell and James, we will never know, but it made no difference as Cheltenham raced to a three love start with games of 15/3, 15/7 and 15/1. In the fourth game, the Eton pair decided to swap sides and would this make a difference? Yes, is the answer as they took the fourth game 15/12. In the fifth game Eton started strong from the service achieving 5 points before being put out. Cheltenham responded to 5-5 and the pairs two and froed to 11-11 where Cheltenham decided to end the game and took the match 4-1 with a 15/12 final game score. One wonders if Smith-Bingham and Hue-Williams could have pushed them further if they swapped sides earlier in the match. A valuable lesson was learned. The final was contested between both finalists of the year before as Harrow I met again Cheltenham I. You might expect that on paper Cheltenham being the current British Open Champions would win this match, but Titchner-Barrett had other plans has he played a very controlled game playing the ball into the corners and dominating the T. Having easily won the first game 15/2, Snell and James pulled back the second 10/15 and tried to manoeuvre the play away from TitchnerBarrett towards Danby. However this tactic failed and Danby, quite literally a boulder stopped anything getting by him demonstrating why his eye for the ball is one of the best around. Harrow took easily the third game and forth game 15/6, and 15/9. With a boisterous crowd of supporters egging the Cheltenham pair on, it made no difference as their game plan was not up to scratch, the difference being they didn’t hit good enough angles on the walls to fluster the Harrow pair. Harrow I were once again crowned the Noel Bruce Champions winning the final game 15/9.


ategory Tournaments

The Category tournaments provide fantastic opportunities to play competitive Tennis within your own handicap bracket. As always, all the tournaments were well subscribed with great Tennis along the way. Congratulations to all winners and all participants. Winners: Category B - Hyde – Lewis Willaims (10-14) Jules Camp (15-19) Category C - Moreton Morrell - Tom Bomford (20-24) Robert Shenkman (25-29) Category D – Hatfield – Jon Conway (30-34) Martin Richards (35-39) Category E – Holyport – Julian Sheraton-Davies (4044) Helen Frances-Pilkington (45-49) Category F - Leamington – Benedict Yorston (50-54) Bob Compton (55-59) Category G - Prested – James Bargent (60+)


rodie Cup – results Full results are detailed on our website:

First Round Seacourt bt Oxford 4/1 Hatfield bt Queen’s Club 3/2 Prested Hall bt Hardwick 4/1 Jesmond Dene bt Newmarket w/o Leamington bt Manchester 3/2 Second Round Hatfield bt MCC 4/1 Hyde bt Leamington 4/1 MURTC bt Seacourt 3/2 Prested Hall bt Moreton Morrell 5/0 Jesmond Dene bt RTC 3/2 Petworth bt Oratory 4/1


anchester Gold Racquet Portz bt Hopton 12/15 13/16 15/10 15/10 15/1

Portz retains the Manchester Gold Racquet 15/1 in the 5th. Portz staged an incredible come back after being 2 games down, he beat Hopton 12/15 13/16 15/10 15/10 15/1. Congratulations Christian! Manchester saw the return of Real Tennis to their weekend and Frenchman Matthieu Sarlangue walked away with the title after a convincing win in the final against James Coyne. A fantastic weekend had by all in Manchester.


ver 40 Open Doubles

The club were very proud to hold the Over 40s Doubles at Prested Hall with a good draw of 13 pairs entered with players coming from RTC, Seacourt, Hatfield, Oxford and MCC as well as a good showing from the local faithful giving a decent mix for the event. The format of the tournament was three group stages with those who didn’t qualify for the level semi-finals going forward into a plate competition. The plate final was won by Richard Ramjane & Will Stephens who overcame a giving a very tricky handicap of owe 15 receive 30 against Peter Awad & Mike D’anzieri 8/6. The match was very close throughout and it wasn’t until 7/6 40-all that Ramjane & Stephens closed out for the title! The main event pitted hot favourites Wright & Jones against the home favourites Nicholls & Shrager. It was the Prested team the started much stronger racing to a 4-2 lead with Tom attacking the ball well and Mark seemingly incapable of making any errors. However, the sign of a good team is how they react under pressure and the number one seeds never looked back from that point. Peter started to control the match and along with some clever serves and crisp volleys from Nick the game plan proved too much as they raced to a 6/4 6/2 victory and the title.

Thanks to all at Prested for giving up their court and proving great hosts as always and not to mention Ricardo and Lewis for the organisation and marking.


eptune British Open Champ’ships

Singles Final: A magnificent feast of real tennis was laid on at Queen’s on Monday night by last year’s British Open winner Brit Bryn Sayers and Aussie Steve Virgona. Bryn had miraculously beaten the World Champion Rob Fahey in the semi-final having been two sets to love down and 5/0 down in the third set. He managed to save three match points and several more in the ensuing games, clinching the fourth and fifth sets to set up his appearance in the Final. His extraordinary houdini act must have taken it out of him as he was slow to start in the first two sets with several dark looks flashed at bad bounce-providing walls. One

two-fisted back hand half volley that powered into the dedans was a rare highlight. At 3-3, Virgona won two games quickly and after an incredible ‘rest’, took the first set 6/4. Sayers held Virgona to 3-3 in the second set but Steve’s consistency and aggression resulted in another 6/4 scoreline. Bryn looked out of sorts. Could he get back into the match? He emphatically answered the question with a 6/0 whitewash in the third- his giraffe type serve from mid court was as successful as any seen by your correspondent at Queens over the years, not giving left hander Steve the opportunity to run round his back hand and smash it into the dedans. The match really came to life in the fourth set with both players on top of their game- at 5-4 up Bryn emphatically finished the set with a thundering volley into the winning gallery

. So at 2-2, could Bryn continue to dominate? Sadly Steve’s determination not to be the bridesmaid again after years of finals against Fahey told... As he upped his game, Bryn reverted to his earlier introspection and complaints about some of the bounces he was suffering. Bryn’s serve was not as tight and Steve was pasting his serve off the main wall into the dedans. At 3-0 down Bryn clawed back a game- were we to witness another Sayers- inspired miracle? A sage in the dedans continued his prediction of ‘6/4 in the fifth’. After an outrageous ‘get’ Steve went to 5-1 but his opponent refused to yield winning a second game. At 30-40 down and a half yard chase he peppered no less than four consecutive shots at the dedans, the last of which Virgona couldn’t keep out. But it was all too little too late. Steve Virgona cruised to a 6/2 final set victory thanks to his consistency, variety of serve which restricted Bryn’s attacking qualities and effective return of any slightly loose serves. As they say it was a shame one of them had to lose after such a wonderful display of athleticism and skill as well as displaying excellent behaviour on court, monitored as ever by Andrew Lyons at the net. It was refreshing to hear some magnanimous and self-effacing Aussie comments in Steve’s award acceptance speech! A bonus for the spectators was the announcement by Robin Geffen of Neptune of a four year extension to his sponsorship of real tennis. Report by Sir Andrew Hamilton

TC takes the initiative to go 4-3 – first lead in a set since the beginning of the first set. They then quickly go 5-3 only to be pegged back by some more amazing interplay by SV and RF. Now it’s RF/SV who have to save set points, and they save three to get back to 4-5 deuce, which they follow by getting to a game point themselves. This missed, it is TC/BS with a fourth and successful set point – 2 sets-all after exactly 3 hours play.. The final set was an anticlimax, with the TC/BS seemingly fresher. They storm ahead and win the set quickly and we have a new partnership and new British Open Doubles champions. Report by Nick Jones

Steve Virgona (2) bt Bryn Sayers (3) 6/4 6/4 0/6 5/6 6/2 British Open Doubles For the past few years in the British Open Doubles the current World Champions Rob and Steve have had good run, but this year is all changed when they faced Bryn Sayers and Tim Chisholm. The first set saw no more than a game between the pairs all the way to 5th all, but in the 11 game RF/SV took a 40-love lead. By this stage twenty shot rallies were common place. After 6 set points against TC/BS they were still serving and from an overhead double handed backhand from the service corner BS gets a looping shot over SV into the grille for a first set point, which he and TC took.1-0.

Tim Chisholm & Bryn Sayers bt Rob Fahey & Steve Virgona 6/5 4/6 5/6 6/4 6/0

Junior of the Year Award

RF/SV took a 3-0 lead quickly in the second, but as would become the trend, TC/BS pegged them back to 2-4 and then 3-5 and 4-5 before RF/SV closed out the set 6/4 with some impressive power play. So, at one set-all it was game on, after almost 90 minutes play! RF/SV again went into the lead – in 12 minutes they were 3-1 up – but as one might expect in this tie the ability of TC/BS to bounce back was never far away. The standard of play by this point was ridiculous, with SV playing up all the time, but TC and BS switching in some games. In one point with TC/BS defending a medium length chase RF was standing up at hazard the door playing repeated ‘periscopes’, the last of which nearly took the marker (Mr Lyons, of course) out to get chase the line. Now 30 minutes into this set it was 5-all and RF/SV soon had 2 set points, which they quickly converted.2 sets to 1. True to form in the fourth the WC’s took a 2-0 lead, though the first took 8 minutes and the second took over 6 minutes so it could have gone either way. 20 minutes later it was 3-all and the galleries were being th treated to thrilling rallies time after time. The 7 game was crucial – TC/BS went 40-15 up, only to be pegged back by some inventive positioning and great calling from RF, judging bounces perfectly allowing SV to open up at targets. After 4 minutes of deuce/ad/deuce

Above: Charlie Braham receiving a racket from Robin Geffen for his incredible progress on the Real Tennis Court. Charlie is also an excellent Rackets player but this year has concentrated on Real Tennis. At 16 years of age he has got his handicap down to 15 and he capped a great season by winning the British Under 18 Junior Singles Championships at Queens in August.


nvitation Qualifying Tournament

Another great tournament from Marlborough, hosted by Rob Wakely, saw Queen’s professional Ben Snell and his doubles partner Nick James secure to two places into the final stages of this prestigious event.


nvitation Singles Championship Will Hopton beat ATB three games to one in the final to retain his title.

Will Hopton pulled out another fifth game win, this time over Nick James. Hoppy then beat James Coyne to move on to the semi-final stage as the group winner. In the other pool, Alex Titchener-Barrett proved too strong for his opponent; Christian Portz secured the second spot to move on to the semi-finals. Congratulations to all eight players on some fantastic Rackets. Nick James, Tom Billings, Richard Owen and QC Pro Ben Snell will all certainly be heard from in future contests! An injured Coyne proved no match for ATB in the first semi-final; whilst Hopton overcame Portz three games to one in the second extremely close match, with three of the four games reaching set to five/three. Hot favourite ATB started the final in style and established an unassailable lead to win the first game comprehensively. Will Hopton found his touch and fought back to level the match one game-all. The third game was to be the decisive reaching 14-all but Hoppy stepped up to inch into a vital lead, winning the set to three. He then swept into a 11-3 lead in the fourth to see ATB peg him back to 11-all - but Hoppy then closed out the game and match to successfully defend his title. An outstanding result for the Chicago professional who restored his World Number 3 Ranking.


asters– O40s, O50s & O60s

Another great tournament from Marlborough, the Neptune British Masters tournament 2013. A small but high quality entry lined up for the event. Having entered for the O40 Singles and Doubles (the latter with Patrick Maxwell), James Male had to pull out with injury before a ball was struck. This meant that, in the O40 category, Patrick Maxwell played Adrian Spurling in the singles for the right to play Alaister Orchard. Maxwell prevailed over Spurling but was then well beaten by Orchard in the final. In the Doubles, Orchard and Steve Tulley beat John and Adrian Spurling in the semis and then came back from 0-2 down to beat John Prenn and Maxwell 3-2 in the final. In the O50s singles, the draw matched up the Amateurs John Prenn and John Spurling and the Pros Robert Wakeley and Steve Tulley in the two semis. Spurling prevailed in the Amateur contest and Tulley in the Pro. In the final, Spurling beat Tulley in a very close 2-0 match. In the O50 doubles, Prenn and Spurling claimed the title beating Wakeley and Tulley 2-0. Last but not least, the O60 finals saw Howard Angus and David Watkins overcome Nigel Kenyon and Harry Saint. Over 40s Singles winner: A Orchard Over 40s Doubles winners: A Orchard & S Tulley Over 50s Singles winner: J Spurling Over 50s Doubles winners: J Prenn & J Spurling Over 60s Doubles winners: D Watkins & H Angus



mateur Singles Championship

ATB stormed into what looked like an unassailable lead, two game to love and 12-6 in the third. But then James Coyne responded with 15 points without reply, taking the third game and a healthy lead into the fourth. Coyne maintained composure to level the match two games-all. The fifth started closely but it was Coyne who stole the early initiative leading 10-3 before ATB pegged him back to 10-9. Three point later Coyne was close but again ATB surged back to 13-13. The final comeback was to be ATB's, winning the set to 3 without loss of another point, and the Amateur Championship in the process. It was James Coyne who settled in the first game and it took a sublime ATB forehand winner to score his opening point. With the early exchanges mainly equal, it was ATB who nudged ahead to 8-3 and then 12-5. Coyne's reflexes kept him alive but ATB's pace set him up with game point which he secured with a fabulous rally to take the opening game 15-7. The second game started similarly closely matched with Coyne starting to find his length with the backhand return of service. Successive hands of 4 then 2 points stretched his advantage to 8-2, before

ATB responded with interest to lead 10-8. The game levelled at 12-all with a stealthy return from Coyne. But then ATB found a couple of delicately placed serves for game point which he converted to take the all important second game 15-12, and a two games to love lead. ATB continued the third in the same manner finding good width to establish a 4-0 lead. Coyne rallied to 5-4 and shortly later it was Coyne winning a top class exchange to level at. 6-all. ATB varied his service well to stretch what seemed to be a match winning lead of 12-6, but this inspired Coyne to embark on an incredible comeback winning the next 9 points and the third game 15-12. The comeback was on! Coyne's incredible fight back continued into the fourth game taking the first 6 points to lead 6-0 - 15 points without reply. Coyne led 10-4 before a brief ATB resurgence closed the gap to 10-6. But then Coyne found a series of perfectly placed services, played at pace, to close out the fourth game 15-6 and leave the match perfectly poised at two games all. Resplendent in a fresh yellow headband, it was Coyne who made the early move in the fifth and final. Playing near perfect Rackets and winning rallies with his trademark powerful shot-making, Coyne established a 8-3 lead and then 10-3. ATB looked deflated but found the willpower to mount a last ditch defence, clawing his way back to 9-10 with some brilliant and inspired play of his own. Coyne rallied to reach 13-9. The opportunity was taken closing to 12-13, with Coyne having a second chance to move to game point. He didn't take this and ATB forced the next point to 13-all; Coyne called a set to three. With everything so close it was ATB who found his range to take a 2-0 lead and reach Championship Point. Coyne fought to the last but ATB crossed the line at the next attempt winning the game 16-13, and the Amateur Championship by three games to two.


Oratory hosted the Bridgeman Cup this year. The Bridgeman Cup is a national tournament which attracts the best over 50’s in the Country. The group stages were played over Friday and Saturday with the winner of each group going through to play the top two seeded players on the Sunday. In the first Semi Final Simon Talbot Williams took on the number 1 seed David Watson. With 14 points between the two players this was always going to be an incredibly tough match for Simon. The final score of 6/0 6/2 seems a little harsh with Simon putting up a brilliant fight, but unable to close out the game points against David. Next up James Rothman was on court to take on the number 2 seed John Prenn. The game was wonderful to watch with both players hitting the ball very nicely. James played very well, however John played a tight game taking an early lead and staying there. John took the match 6/1 6/3.

The top 2 seeds were through to the final with David Watson taking on John Prenn. David started off strong, hitting the ball with confidence and regularly finding his targets. With David 1 set up and 3/0 up in the second set John started to find his form and the game began to swing the other way and John took the second set 6/4. The third set was very even with both players playing well, but it was John who came out on top winning the Bridgeman Cup Final 3/6 6/4 6/4.


This result retains the title for ATB winning his sixth successive Amateur Championship, an incredible achievement. The packed gallery was swollen by the players from the Public School Singles and their School Professionals. William Maltby presented the prizes and thanked Robin Geffen for his munificent support to Rackets.

ridgeman Cup

nter Universities Tournament Final: Cambridge 1 bt Exeter

Handicap Singles Final: Hanton bt Worsnop 8/6

This trophy is awarded to the most improved men’s, ladies’ professional or amateur player. Through hard work and determination Tara recorded a fantastic improvement, which included winning the Ladies US Open. Henry Johns Cup – Chris Chapman


Above: All participants at Cambridge RTC

&RA Annual Lunch & Awards

Another year has passed by and another T&RA Lunch and Awards. A well-attended event, which everyone enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere. The lunch, as always, was well positioned on ‘Super Saturday’ so fantastic matches were on offer on both the Tennis and Rackets court.

Chris Chapman received the Henry Johns Cup for considerable contribution to the game by a young professional.

Warburg Trophy – Bryn Sayers

Maltby Silver – Simon Talbot-Williams

Bryn was selected to receive the award for the best British professional performance during the season based on winning the British Open 2012 (against Rob Fahey). Baerlein Cup – Jamie Douglas

Most valuable volunteer Negretti Cup - Alex Titchener-Barrett The best Rackets performance by an Amateur. Renny Trophy – Tom Billings The most improved Rackets player. Jamie was chosen to receive the award for the best British amateur performance during the season. He won the British Amateur Singles (against Julian Snow) and retained the MCC Gold Racquet.

Latham Cup - Will Hopton (received by Marianne Hopton on Will’s behalf)

Greenwood Trophy – Tara Lumley

The best Rackets performance by a Professional.


eptune Tennis Sponsorship Five year extension.

The Tennis & Rackets Association are delighted to announce our continued engagement with Robin Geffen and Neptune Investment Limited as our Lead Tennis Sponsor. The current seven year agreement, which expires in 2015 will be extended for a further five years. The Association is deeply grateful for Robin’s continued patronage of Tennis; and we hope to see continued growth and development of the sport throughout the decade.


ocial media

We are now on Twitter and Facebook. For all news, events and photos please join/like/follow! Twitter will especially be used for game by game updates in the Major events.



arewell to Claire Vigrass

liminators for the 2014 World Championship Challenge

Following the British Open Singles Championship the final positions for the Eliminators are 1. 2. 3. 4.

Camden Riviere Steve Virgona Bryn Sayers Tim Chisholm

The 1st round of eliminators sees the following line up 1 -v- 4 and 2 -v- 3 These matches will be played on a home and away basis and will be the best of 3 five set matches. The higher ranked player chooses whether to play home or away first. The four players had until 9th December in which to inform the IRTPA they will be entering the eliminator process. Following receipt of acceptance from the players and their choice of their home court, the dates of these matches will be confirmed. The winners of these matches go through to the final eliminator and this match will be held at one venue over the best of 13 sets if there is a bid for hosting this match from a club or it will be held also on a home and away basis with the higher ranked player again choosing whether to play home or away first. Then it is onto the World Championship Challenge itself to take on Rob Fahey at The Royal Melbourne Tennis Club in May 2014. For more information please see the IRTPA website

After 18 months as the T&RA Membership Secretary, Claire is moving to Prested Hall to become the Head Professional. Claire has brought huge changes during this brief period, working harmoniously alongside Rosie to revolutionize the Facebook and Twitter portal to the world, as well as introducing a host of new players to the game, and signing them up as T&RA members. During this period she also successfully defended all her titles in both Tennis and Rackets, including the World Championship; no mean task whilst holding down the day job. As Claire embarks on her new career as a club professional, I’m sure she will welcome both members and visitors alike to Prested, where you will be able to play some wonderful Tennis in the Essex countryside. We wish Claire all the best for her new role and for later in the year when she will walk down the wedding isle to meet Rob at the altar.

T&RA Christmas Newsletter 2013