Top tennis talent on show at Chichester finals
Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club staged their annual closed senior and junior tennis championships.
The tournament ran over five weeks and on finals day, the sun broke through.
Mini-orange (nine and under) members played their tournament on the KidsZone courts. Fred Whitby retained his title with Alexander Renney taking silver and Diego Savage-Melendez bronze.
The ten-and-under mixed singles green event saw third place and the bronze medal go to Ross Wilson, with Joseph Robinson taking silver and Whitby the winner.
The 12 and under boys’ title decider, played on the clay courts in front of a packed balcony, was won by Thomas Bisatt against James Pollard.
The two girls’ events were won by Kitty Whitby.
The first senior titles contested were the men’s singles plate and ladies’ singles plate, with James Youell and Catherine Hutchin winning them.
The men’s singles attracted a high number of entries as Sam Kilhams (No1 seed) tried to defend his title and equal the record number of eight titles.
The final brought together Kilhams and No2 seed Peter Cook, both of whom are Chichester Tennis Academy coaches.
Kilhams was resolute in his aim to retain his crown and equal Chris Nicholls’ record of eight club singles titles. He displayed talent, strength and determination to dominate and win in two sets.
Katica Robertson, playing in the first of her three finals, faced Amy Wright and won 6-2, 6-1 – a record 12th time she has won the ladies’ singles championship. The first was in 1990.
Mat Worden and Kilhams played the men’s doubles final against the experienced No2 seeds Justin Pollard and Chris Nicholls, who last won the event in 2011 and won their first of 15 in 1992.
Worden and Kilhams first won the title in 2012 and the defending champions quickly took control. Despite a gallant effort by Pollard and Nicholls, the younger pair proved too good and Worden and Kilhams took the title in straight sets.
Robertson and Amy Wright returned to the clay courts for the ladies’ doubles. Robertson partnered Sue Foott and Ileana Melendez-Ruiz paired up with Wright.
No1 seeds Foott and Robertson stormed to a 6-0 win in the first set. Melendez-Ruiz and Wright took two games in the second but eventually were overpowered in straight sets.
The final match was the mixed doubles between two very proficient doubles teams – No1 seeds Mat and Molly Worden and No2 seeds Justin Pollard and Katica Robertson.
Pollard and Robertson took the first set 6-3 in 35 minutes and confidently forged a 5-1 lead in the second. The match, however, suddenly took a dramatic turn and the young pair won the next six games to snatch the set 7-5.
It was decided with a championship tie-break which the Wordens won 10-2 for their first championship title.
Other results: Ladies’ doubles plate - Jill Street & Debbie Draper beat Amanda Boyce & Sara Smyth; Mixed Doubles Plate - Penny Winterflood & Tig Carvalho beat Janet Briggs & Tim Bradford; Men’s Doubles Plate - Nigel Marks & Mark Chapman beat Mike Bac & Rory Cavanagh; Boys’ 14 &U - Noah Burton beat David Bisatt.
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