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Van Alen/George Limb/Clothier Tour Report and Results

Update Jul 13, 2022 (Full results added)
Published Jul 11, 2022

USA defeated Australia 9 matches to 0

GB defeated Australia 9 matches to 0

GB defeated USA 5 matches to 4

After 14 days in Australia, the UK team of Robert Shenkman (c), Henry Mullan, Ben Yorston and Ivo Macdonald have returned home victorious claiming a host of trophies from the tour matches in Hobart, Ballarat and Melbourne.

The tour started with the Australian U26 Amateur Singles and Doubles championships in Hobart, the club where legendary players Rob Fahey and Kieran Booth began their careers. In the singles Henry Mullan performed well in comfortably beating Erik Barker (Washington) in the quarter final and was unfortunate not to reach the final, losing 4/6 in the 3rd set to Freddie Bristowe (New York). On the other side of the draw Robert Shenkman won through 6/1 6/3 in his semi final against local hopeful Ollie Pridmore (Hobart) to set up a final against Freddie. The final was a tense affair with the first set going 6-0 to Robert despite 4 deuce games. The second set ebbed and flowed and despite Freddie having his chances Robert edged it 6/5 to take the title 6/0 6/5.

In the doubles, the first semi final was an excellent contest with Ivo Macdonald and Pete Dickinson (Philadelphia) almost giving the second seeds Barker and Bristowe a fright eventually going down 6/4 6/4. The final was a quality affair between two experienced pairs. Bristowe and Barker won the first set 6/5 but Shenkman and Mullan rallied to level the scores and take the match to a decider. The final set was full of pulsating restes but ultimately Bristowe proved the difference between the pairs providing many explosive volleys to take the US team to the title 6/5 2/6 6/4.

The teams then enjoyed a great dinner at the Hobart club before embarking the next day to Ballarat in pursuit of the Van Alen cup, held by the USA since 2019.

The first day comprised 4 singles matches and the 2+3 string doubles. In the 4th string singles Ivo Macdonald had a humdinger with the aptly named Chase Motz (USA) eventually going down 5/6 in the final set to give team USA an early victory. Motz attacked with real vigour to leave USA team manager Ivan Ronaldson purring with delight.

In the second match between the number 3s the previously untested Ben Yorston (having missed the Hobart leg due to a hockey tour) provided a nail-biting victory over Erik Barker 6/5 6/5. The crowds were treated to seemingly never-ending restes between two players with similar styles leaving many spectators wondering if the match would ever end.

British veteran Henry Mullan then flipped the overall match scoreline on its head with a 6/2 6/2 win over Pete Dickinson using a tight railroad and powerful volleys to great effect. This left GB in the ascendancy going into the final 2 matches of the day. The final match between the 1 strings was a repeat of the u26 final in Hobart and it did not disappoint. Robert Shenkman took the first set 6/3 but Freddie Bristowe rallied and found a purple patch, taking the second set 6/2 and opening up a 5-0 lead in the 3rd. At 40-15 to team USA the match seemed over however Shenkman edged back into the match. Slowly but surely the score was eventually tied at 5-5 before Shenkman completed a seemingly unthinkable comeback to win 6/5 in the final set. Team USA Barker and Dickinson then provided a thrilling comeback of their own over Mullan and Yorston to win 6/5 in the 3rd to leave the overall match score at 3-2 going into the final 4 doubles games.

Both teams then enjoyed Ballarat’s own 4th July celebrations before the second day of play took place on the Tuesday.

The first doubles match of the day was somewhat anticlimactic since an arm injury to Henry Mullan severely hampered GBs chances and they went down 4/6 3/6 to Dickinson and Bristowe. 3+4 strings Macdonald and Yorston then won 6/4 6/3 against Motz and Barker to put GB to within a win of victory. However there was a further twist and it was nothing less than the Van Alen cup deserved with Bristowe shining yet again in the doubles arena alongside Erik Barker, defeating Shenkman and Yorston 6/4 6/5 to leave nothing to separate the teams as they went into the final match. The main question ahead of the deciding rubber was the fitness of Henry Mullan, who had been living on a diet of ibuprofen and Panadol after the first match of the day. As it turned out, his pain subsided and he was able to take up a role at the back of the court against Dickinson and Motz. However, it was his partner Ivo Macdonald who proved the difference, hitting Exocet style forces at the dedans whilst Mullan was solid on the volley. A shell shocked US team could not cope with the offensive play on show and team GB took the victory 6/2 6/3 to reclaim the Van Alen cup. The match was played in excellent spirit between two evenly matched teams and it was a great spectacle of international team tennis.

Moving on to Melbourne, both the UK and USA teams were able to complete 9-0 victories over Australia in the George Limb and Clothier Cups respectively to round off a successful tour for all parties. Thanks were given to ARTA president Alistair Curley for organising and overseeing a whirlwind 14 days, and indeed for all of the Australian professionals who marked the tennis and who were excellent hosts. It is hoped that the next junior team tour will take place in 2023!

Written by team captain Robert Shenkman.


Van Alen Trophy 2022 – Ballarat

Monday 4th July
Chase Motz defeated Ivo McDonald 2/6 6/3 6/5 USA
Benedict Yorston defeated Erik Barker 6/5 6/5 UK
Henry Mullan defeated Pete Dickinson 6/1 6/3 UK
Robert Shenkman defeated Freddie Bristowe 6/3 1/6 6/5 UK
H. Mullan / B. Yorston lost to P. Dickinson / E. Barker 5/6 6/4 5/6 USA

Tuesday 5th July
R. Shenkman / H. Mullan lost to F. Bristowe / P. Dickinson 4/6 3/6 USA
B. Yorston / I. Mcdonald defeated E. Barker / C. Motz 6/2 6/4 UK
R. Shenkman / B. Yorston lost to F. Bristowe / E. Barker 4/6 5/6 USA
H. Mullan / I. McDonald defeated P. Dickinson / C Motz 6/2 6/3 UK
UK wins the Van Alen Trophy 5 Matches to 4

Clothier Cup 2022 – Melbourne

Thursday 7th July
Chase Motz defeated Alex Rackham 6/4 6/1 USA
Erik Barker defeated Blake Hillebrand 6/0 6/0 USA
Peter Dickinson defeated Eli Kozma 6/1 6/4 USA
Freddie Bristowe defeated Ollie Pridmore 6/0 6/0 USA
P Dickinson & E Barker defeated B Hillebrand & E Kozma 6/3 6/1 USA

Friday 8th July
P Dickinson & F Bristowe defeated O Pridmore & E Kozma 6/1 6/3 USA
E Barker & C Motz defeated B Hillebrand & N Stenning 6/0 6/2 USA
A Rackham & E Barker defeated O Pridmore & B Hillebrand 6/3 6/3 USA
P Dickinson & C Motz defeated E Komad & N Stenning 6/5 2/6 6/2 USA
USA wins the Clothier Cup 9 matches to 0

Limb Trophy 2022 – Melbourne

Saturday 9th July Winner

Ivo McDonald defeated Alex Rackham 6/1 6/0 UK
Benedict Yorston defeated Blake Hillebrand 6/1 6/1 UK
Henry Mullan defeated Eli Kozma 6/0 6/0 UK
Robert Shenkman defeated Ollie Pridmore 6/2 6/4 UK
H Mullan & B Yorston defeated B Hillebrand & O Pridmore 6/1 6/2 UK

Sunday 10th July
H Mullan & R Shenkman defeated E Kozma & O Pridmore 6/1 6/1 UK
B Yorston & I MacDonald defeated N Stenning & A Rackham 6/3 6/1 UK
B Yorston & R Shenkman defeated N Stenning & O Pridmore 6/3 4/6 6/2 UK
H Mullan & I MacDonald defeated E Kozma & A Rackham 6/0 6/0 UK
UK wins the Limb Trophy 9 matches to 0

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