Leamington Open Singles

27 Jan 2015

Leamington hosted the prestigious Open Singles event over the weekend with a capacity entry of 64 players, and a reserve list of nine. 30 of the 64 entrants were non Leamington members which outlines the popularity of the event, and our club. It's great to see that the Leamington Aspect Open Singles is still the premiere amateur singles event in the UK in terms of participants. As with this seasons Open Doubles, the Tennis and social provisions were maximal with all players (almost) playing at both LTCC and Moreton Morrell, with all meals barring breakfast covered throughout the weekend, including a Burns Night and whiskey tasting on the Saturday evening.

Play started at 8am on Friday morning, with the final taking place at 7:30pm yesterday evening. The box matches took place on Friday and Saturday to cut the number of players in half, with 32 contesting the knockout stages on Sunday. A few of the players were sounded out during the group stage as potential suitors to the crown, and didn't disappoint as three of the four semi-finalists had already earned the tag 'bandit' earlier in the tournament. A special mention to Chris French (the only one not to be called a bandit!) on making the semi-finals and being the sole LTCC representative in the last four. He came unstuck against Tim Hall who had served his way through the draw with a vicious left handed railroad. They had a great tussle, playing off a small handicap of 'owe 15, love', but it was Tim who prevailed 6/4. In the other semi final, Will Hunter (Prested Hall) and Chris Lintott (Oxford) came up against each as the only two undefeated players in the tournament. Chris had got to the semi finals more emphatically with his scorelines than Will and opened up a lead in their match. Will, with age on his side, kept charging around and digging the ball back exceptionally well for his handicap and got himself back into the match. After 10 games they were locked at 5-5 and it was Will who played the better game to qualify for the final.

The final unfortunately could not live up to the excitement of the two semi finals as the handicap was just too big for Tim to negotiate and Will was able to win 6/1. Tim did everything that he could, but Will made a quick start and raced into a 3-1 lead. A cheap game saw Will move into a 4-1 lead and unfortunately the writing was on the wall at this stage. He closed out the match to take the title and well done to him as he played exceptionally well all weekend.

A huge thank you to the following people for their help over the weekend: Andy Dixon - The sponsor! Without the sponsorship of the tournament, it would be soo difficult to put it on so thank you again. Charlotte and her team - What fantastic food we have been treated to over the past three days. It is always appreciated and never taken for granted. George Hayward & Tom Seymour-Mead - Running a book all weekend and taking on the liability. We're glad that you came out of it unscathed in the end! Kevin Sheldon - For helping break down the scheduling into manageable sections. Lewis Williams - For a huge stint of marking over the weekend. The Club - For having the drive and determination to make this event as big as possible each year. To all participants - For playing and supporting this fantastic event! Without you it wouldn't be possible and we hope you have enjoyed playing in it as much as we can enjoy putting it on.

Will Hunter

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