Fishbourne finals prove a real tennis treat

The men's doubles finalists at Fishbourne
The men's doubles finalists at Fishbourne

Reigning men’s tennis champion Tom Craddock retained his singles trophy and added a doubles title at the Fishbourne

Tennis Club championship finals day.

Congratulations to all the winners for a day of fantastic tennis. Our finals day this year was one of the best ever at Fishbourne Tennis Club.

But this year there was a new champion among the women, with Tamsin Saunders holding aloft the ladies’ singles trophy after an

enthralling match against Mandy Davies at the Blackboy Lane club.

Both singles matches were played to an exceptional standard that kept the large crowd captivated in the warm sunshine, and set the

tone for an afternoon of doubles finals made memorable by some classic confrontations.

Craddock battled against Tom Dry – brother of last year’s defeated finalist – for over two hours. Craddock controlled the first

set with powerful serving, huge top-spin forehands and cross-court backhand winners that had his opponent scampering to every

corner of the court.

Dry’s athletic ability to chase down every ball paid off in the close-fought second set which he won 7-5, setting up a third set finale which didn’t disappoint. The set could have gone either way, but with Craddock taking the first break of serve not even the resolve of a pumped-up Dry could prevent Craddock serving out the match.

Craddock was soon back on court with partner Sam Hart to take on former singles champions Andre Rogers and Bill Cove in the men’s doubles final.

The first set proved straightforward for the younger men but as Rogers and Cove settled they pushed them all the way in the second, just losing out in a tie-break.

As with Craddock, ladies’ singles champ Saunders went on to further success and won the doubles title with partner Sue Bargery against Kate Gurl and Shaz Morris.

Nikki Scott and Cove took the mixed doubles title after a close-fought battle with Sue Groves and James Wilson.

Jean Watson and club chairman David Lord also took home two trophies after successes in the vets 65 tournament introduced as part of the FTC championships for the first time.

The competition, for men and women aged more than 65, proved popular and will be a regular feature of the tournament from now on.

Winner of the vets 65 men’s singles was Gordon Read who, after an epic battle against Ian Williams, picked up the trophy… along with a

packet of Bran Flakes.

In total there were nine finals involving players from their early 20s to their mid 80s, reflecting the inclusive nature of the club at the

Fishbourne Centre where, as the sign says, ‘everyone can enjoy the game’.

FTC chairman David Lord said: “Congratulations to all the winners for a day of fantastic tennis. Our finals day this year was one of

the best ever at Fishbourne Tennis Club.”

The championships came hard on the heels of a summer of success in the LTA Portsmouth & District League with many of Fishbourne’s teamsprogressing to higher divisions. Seven teams are gearing up for the winter league starting soon.

The club are always happy to hear from prospective new members. See more at www.fishbournetennisclub.org.uk

Fishbourne Tennis Club Championships 2017 results: Men’s Singles - Tom Craddock bt Tom Dry, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4; Ladies’ Singles - Tamsin

Saunders bt Mandy Davies 6-3, 6-1; Men’s Doubles - Sam Hart and Tom Craddock bt Bill Cove and Andre Rogers 6-1, 7-6; Ladies’ Doubles - Sue Bargery and Tamsin Saunders bt Kate Gurl and Shaz Morris 7-5, 6-3; Mixed Doubles - Nikki Scott and Bill Cove bt Sue Groves and James Wilson 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. Vets65 tournament: Men’s Singles - Gordon Read bt Ian Williams 6-2, 6-7 (tb), 7-5; Men’s Doubles - Jim Aman and David Lord def Edgar Houlson and Brian Williams 6-2, 6-3; Ladies’ Doubles - Sue Bargery and Jean Watson def Peggy Burnand and Elizabeth Williams 6-1, 6-3; Mixed Doubles - Jean Watson and David Lord bt June and Roy Hay 6-1, 6-3.

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