Over 70s Singles and Doubles 2013

02 May 2013

Dramatic over 70s weekend!

This was held at Holyport on April 19th, 20th and 21st and had many new entries from players who had just turned 70. In fact, the 7 man team about to compete in the World Masters at Tuxedo all took part. 

On the Friday, the tournament also accommodated a qualifying event for competitors who had not been picked for the team event making it the largest over 70’s entry to date.

Both the singles and doubles events had a series of matches ending with an 8/7 scoreline. Luckily, it was decided to limit the matches to just one 8 game set.

The first drama was between David Brazier and Nick Danby. Nick went to a comfortable 6-3 lead, only for him to appear to lose concentration, allowing David to catch up to 7 games each.   On match point to David,with Nick defending chase 5 ,Nick left an easy ball which he could have hit for a winner only to watch fall better than 5.

This brought on Paul Danby against David in the semi-final.  Paul, who had been training and playing assiduously recently, showed how to play classical tennis beating David 8-4.

The second semi-final between Robin Barlow and John Ward was very well contested, with Robin playing with more consistency and aggression than he has in previous matches against John but eventually losing 8-5.

As for the final, Paul deserves the highest praise, having improved his play by about 15 points in only 2 months. He returned John’s best serves with consummate ease; consequently many of the games were won from the hazard end.   John got to match point but unaccountably put an easy ball in the net when defending chase 4. The last point saw Paul defending worse than 2 but, fortunately for John, Paul’s serve came short off the penthouse allowing him to beat the chase.

The doubles was almost as dramatic.  The number one seeds Nick Danby and John Pickup just lost to the number 3 seeds, David Brazier and Robin Barlow 8/7in the first semi.

In the second semi, David Bevan Thomas who played exceptionally well for a man about to celebrate his 80th birthday teamed up with Paul Danby but lost 8-5 to Willie Wilks and John Ward

Because Willie was suffering from a bad shoulder and had not played for a month and John was  limping around on one leg after his exhausting singles final, Barlow and Brazier were expected to win.    However, they played in a tentative mode, allowing the other two a lead of 5 to 1. They then upped their game to catch up to 7 games each but got caught down the hazard end for the last game.  Despite a barrage of shots aimed at the dedans, Willie, who played really well, held firm to win the game to love.

It was a great relief to be able to hold this event at Holyport despite the threats of closure. Thanks are due to the markers, Tom Durack and Angus Williams, for presiding over so many tense matches.

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