Category C Open Championships 2019
Moreton Morrell was delighted to welcome 18 players to the Category C Championships - 12 for the 25-29 section and 6 for the 20-24. In the latter, local 'boy' Philip Shaw-Hamilton found ex Hampshire cricketer James Hamblin too tough a proposition going down 4/6, 3/6. Another local Tom Lewis was below par in his match against Nick Baker who triumphed 6/3, 6/3. The first semi-final was an epic match between Freddie Dixon and James Hamblin- Hamblin took the first set relatively easily but the second was nip and tuck with Dixon scraping home 6/5, both players retrieving superbly. Dixon was in trouble in the final set but hauled his way back into the match to squeak through 6/5 in a two hour long match which played havoc with the overall schedule with play finishing at 10.30 pm! In the other semi Nick Baker struggled to find and consistency and succumbed easily to Charles Doyly 3/6, 0/6. The final was another long drawn out affair with Dixon cruising to a 6/0 first set win thanks to positive stroke play and effective railroad serving. The second set went in reverse - Doyly went 5/1 up only to take his foot off the gas which allowed Dixon to crawl back to 5/5 but then proceeded to gift points and lose the set. In the third set both players resorted to pushing the ball around probably due to weary limbs and minds with the score see sawing but Freddie Dixon held his nerve to win deservedly the Category C trophy for the second year running.
In the first quarter-final of the Category 25-29 Jeremy Taylor eased to a 6/3, 6/2 win over J. Brodie, Chris Kroeger took out M. Richards 6/5, 6/2, MCC
assistant professional Jack Clifton came through a titanic tussle with Ashley Deakin 6/5, 4/6, 6/3 and local Rob Stewart avoided too many alarms against
Andrew Keeley winning 6/3, 6/2. In the semis Stewart continued his good form in a 6/3, 6/2 win against Jeremy Taylor and Jack Clifton won a superb
contest with Kroeger 6/3, 5/6 4/6. The first set of the final was a close affair with some excellent rests with one memorable one that ended with Stewart
marooned at the net as Clifton lobbed the ball into the dedans. Clifton went up a gear in the second set tucking into Stewart's railroad serve and
exerting constant pressure winning the match and title convincingly 6/4 6/2.
There was an excellent standard of Tennis played throughout the three days, in fact a joy to watch and it begged the question as to whether or not the
standard has improved over the years! Tom Granville was thanked for organising a difficult timetable and for marking duties shared with Nick Jury and