British Amateur Real Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships 2014 - Now with report

28 Feb 2014

Matthieu Sarlangue won the British Amateur in three sets. Jamie Douglas & Peter Wright win the Amateur Doubles in a classic five-set match.

Saturday 1st March, Queen's: Matthieu Sarlangue beat Jamie Douglas in three tight sets 6/5 6/5 6/3 to become the first ever French holder of the title.

Sunday 2nd March, Queen's: Jamie Douglas & Peter Wright beat Alistair Lumsden & Matthieu Sarlangue 6/4 6/5 5/6 3/6 6/5.



Saturday 22nd February

  • Roman Krznaric (5) bt Harry Eddis 6/0 2/6 6/4 6/5

Sunday 23rd February

  • Luke Danby (4) bt Phil Dunn 6/4 6/2 6/5
  • Ed Kay bt Benjamin Jacquin-Turrettini 6/1 6/3 6/3
  • Tom Seymour-Mead bt Miles Jackson (6) 6/5 2/6 6/3 5/6 6/2
  • John Prenn bt Charlie Braham 6/0 6/0 6/1

Monday 24th February

  • Alistair Lumsden & Matthieu Sarlangue (2) bt Phil Dunn & Tom Freeman 6/3 6/0 6/2

Tuesday 25th February

  • Matthieu Sarlangue (2) bt Ed Kay 6/2 6/4 6/2
  • Peter Wright (3) vs Tom Seymour-Mead 6/5 6/0 6/3
  • Jamie Douglas (1) vs John Prenn 6/2 6/1 6/0
  • Luke Danby (5) bt Roman Krznaric (4) 3/6 4/6 6/4 6/2 6/5

Wednesday 26th February

  • Miles Jackson & Roman Krznaric bt William Maltby & Neil Roxburgh 6/1 5/6 6/2 6/5
  • Harry Eddis & Tom Seymour-Mead (4) bt Mark Nicholls & John Prenn 6/1 6/2 6/1

Thursday 27th February

Singles semi-finals

  • Matthieu Sarlangue (2) bt Peter Wright (3) 6/2 6/5 5/6 5/6 6/3
  • Jamie Douglas (1) vs Luke Danby (4) 6/3 3/6 6/0 6/2

Friday 28th February

Doubles semi-finals

  • Jamie Douglas & Peter Wright (1) bt Harry Eddis & Tom Seymour-Mead (4) 6/1 6/1 6/1
  • Alistair Lumsden & Matthieu Sarlangue (2) bt Miles Jackson & Roman Krznaric 6/4 6/3 6/4

Saturday 1st March

Singles Final

  • Matthieu Sarlangue (2) bt Jamie Douglas (1) 6/5 6/5 6/3

Sunday 2nd March

Doubles Final

  • Jamie Douglas & Peter Wright (1) bt Alistair Lumsden & Matthieu Sarlangue (2) 6/4 6/5 5/6 3/6 6/5

2014 Real Tennis Amateur Open Singles Report by Nick Jones                                             

This year’s Amateur Open singles top 4 seeds had two distinct styles on show.

The first semi, pitting the young Frenchman Matthieu Sarlangue (2) against Peter Wright (3), was always going to be a relatively controlled tactical battle – both players handle pace well, but play line and length even better, combing it with great footwork and amazing retrieving. Matthieu won the first two sets 6/3 6/5, but Peter was having nothing of it, taking the next two 6/5 6/5 – in the last, Matthieu managed to sneak ahead, and stayed there, earning himself a second Amateur Open final in 3 years.

Jamie Douglas (1) and Luke Danby (4) met in the second semi to do battle, and as expected there was some heavy hitting going on. Luke had edged through his quarter against the number 5 seed Roman Krznaric 6/5 in the fifth set on Tuesday and relished the chance to play Jamie. They went toe to toe for the first two sets, taking one each 6/3. After this, Jamie seemed to have the edge, though the 6/0 6/2 set scores for the third and fourth sets do Luke little justice! This match didn’t finish until about 11pm, as Matthieu and Peter had battled for over 3 hours – with Jamie and Luke taking over 2 hours!

On to the final, and on paper Jamie had the edge, but he would have been very aware of Matthieu (then only 19) taking Julian Snow to 6/5 in the fifth after over 3 hours in the 2012 final.

The pattern of the match emerged early – both players were very fast getting to the ball, and this was evident when it became obvious that Matthieu was able to hit targets at will. Jamie started to bias himself towards the grille corner, which allowed him to cover some of the fantastic grille shots coming from his opponent, whilst being fast enough to cover switch hits into the forehand corner – not only did he cover these, but he usually boasted them into better than two in the forehand corner! Matthieu was also using his exceptional timing to straight force serves into the backhand dedans as well as cutting balls to the forehand corner, mixed with boasts and forces onto Jamie’s close backhand channel. The other notable tactic from both players were simple, but tight, serves. It has to be said also that Jamie hands in the corners allowed him to return some seemingly impossible shots, and Andrew Fowler, the marker, did well to avoid early or incorrect calls on many of these. This, combined with many fat boasts and gallery shots from both players meant regular changes of end.

So onto the match progression: With Matthieu going 3/1 up in the first with points for 4/1, Jamie settled and recognised the need for the service end, and using longer chases did this to peg back to 3/3. They then traded games to 5 all, but Matthieu managed to sneak the first 6/5, which took over 50 minutes.

In the second, Jamie took a relatively quick 2/0 lead, only to be back at 2/1 10 minutes later, after several chances to stretch his lead. Matthieu then won 4 of the next 5 games to go 5/3 up. Jamie dug in and once again we found ourselves at 5 all. After a long 11th game, Matthieu once again managed to close the set out 6/5.

The third set once again saw Jamie 2/1 up, with this lead taking some time to achieve – a large proportion of games were going to deuce, and as mentioned before, with long chases being used to win the serve. Matthieu rallied from 2/1 down to go 3/2 up, and then 4/2, 4/3 and finally got to 5/3. Jamie then served well to get a 40 love lead, only to be pulled back to deuce by some exquisite shot selection from Matthieu. After a few further exchanges, Matthieu managed to close the game, the set and the title out – to become the first Frenchman in its 126 year history to win the Championship.

The three sets had taken 2 and a half hours, and as always Jamie was very generous in defeat. Alistair Lumsden presented the trophy and the Pol Roger to Matthieu and thanked all concerned, including Queens and of course Neptune. We should also mention the exceptional marking from the aforementioned Mr Fowler, who showed exceptional skill during this match (including the ability to go from 6’4” to under 5’ in very short order).

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