National tennis titles keep on coming for Ornstein

Chris Ornstein with some of his latest senior trophies
Chris Ornstein with some of his latest senior trophies

A Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club senior has won more national titles - and has been selected to represent GB at the World Championships.

Chris Ornstien, a CRAFC member for more than 17 years, completed the double at the recent GB seniors’ national grass court tennis championships in Cheltenham.

Ornstien, playing in the men’s 70-plus age group, had to play four long singles’ matches before winning the final 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 against his long-term rival from Oxford, Alex Templer, in just under three hours.

He finished very strongly, recovering from 1-4 down in the third set, and credits his fitness and stamina to the training he does at CRAFC and the help he receives from the the club’s fitness trainers.

He then partnered one of his GB team-mates, Wilf Jessop (Yorks) to win the men’s 70-plus doubles event.

Following solid performances and results earlier in the year, Ornstien has been selected to represent the GB men’s 70-plus at the Super-Seniors World Team Tennis Championships in Umag, Croatia, later this year.

He was a singles semi-finalist at the 2018 GB National Clay Court Championships in Bournemouth in May, where he lost in two very close sets to eventual winner, Petr Kolacek (SUI), who has now won the over-70 event for three consecutive years. Ornstien was a finalist in the over-70 men’s doubles at the same event.

Ornstien has maintained his good form throughout the season this year, and in between the national tournaments, he has won both the singles and doubles titles at a grade two event in Frinton-on-Sea and a grade three event at St George’s Hill, Weybrige.

Ornstien followed up his win at the GB seniors’ nationals with another double winning performance at Eastbourne.

The seniors’ south of England championships is played at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne – the venue used for pre-Wimbledon warm-up tournaments for ATP and WTA tour players.

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After rain the round of 16 matches featured shortened sets and Ornstein came through his match 4-0, 4-1.

Players winning quarter-finals had to play their semi-finals the same day, making a very long day for Ornstein, who scraped through his quarter-final in just over two hours 4-6, 6-2, 12-10.

His semi-final brought a 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 win against his doubles partner. Half an hour later he was back on court for the semi-final of the doubles, which they won 6-1, 6-2.

In the singles final Ornstein did not allow his opponent to get a foothold and won 6-1, 6-3. He and Wilf Jessop won their doubles final 6-2, 6-4.

In four GB grass court tournaments this summer, Ornstein played 16 singles matches and won 15, as well as winning three doubles titles. He is the top-ranked GB players in the 70-plus age group for singles and doubles.

He has been selected to represent GB at the seniors’ world championships in Umag, Croatia, when he will lead the 70-plus team against teams from 23 other countries.

The seniors’ world individual championships will see Ornstein play in three events – singles (he is ranked 22 in the world), men’s doubles (current ranking nine) and in the mixed doubles.