rackets Fixture

* Amateur Doubles Championships 2023

Feb 10, 2023 - Feb 12, 2023 Tonbridge N James

Published Jun 14, 2022


The scene was set for the Amateur Doubles 2023 at Tonbridge for a one day feast of rackets with the formidable James and Bailey pairing seeded one followed by the world champion Billings and his fresh out of school partner Garson at second seed. Two more seeded pairs included brothers Stevens and US amateur doubles champion Portz & the old timer Smith-Bingham (G). Late to the party, Giddins (R) replaced Annetts to partner the well practised Manton-Jones. All to play for and even Makey was not offering odds.

The apple cart had a proper wobble at midday in the Manton-Jones & Giddins v Billings & Garson match when, at one game all, 12 all, a wooded drop shot from Billings brought a well fought match to a close in the second seeds favour. Garson’s first foray into adult rackets tournament play showed he was well up for the challenge.

The four seeds met in regulation for afternoon play. First up was James and Bailey who were very solid against Portz and Smith-Bingham. Terrific high paced rallies throughout but unforced errors from the underdogs allowed the first seeds safe passage. The second semi also had great rallies but second seeds’ consistency did not permit the Wykehamist brothers to prosper.

It was hard to predict anything in the final with all players having quite a few games under the belt that day already. In addition Billings was recovering from injury, James was strapping up most of his limbs and there were the relatively unknown capabilities of Garson. The match started with some first class rallies of low hard hitting, cracking angles and interesting court craft required from all players. Billings was playing about 70% of the shots for his team but Garson was more than an able assistant. The world champion secured quite a few early points with deftly executed drop shots, which although much disapproved of, the effectiveness against and frustration to the opponents was plain to see. The most impressive part of Billings play was his movement which was remarkable; he appeared everywhere with consummate ease and had a partner in Garson who secured crucial rallies when it was tight. The first two games were very close and both went to Billings and Garson. It was a shame Bailey had an injury preventing him from playing properly but James found an extra gear and inexplicably won the third game almost single-handedly. The fourth game went decisively to Billings and Garson.

Many thanks to Nick James for organising and David Makey for hosting.

First Round

Date/Time Fixture Score
Feb 11, 2023 - 10:00 AM O. Cooke & C. Marlow-Thomas bt T. Foster & D. Kent 16/18 15/5 15/12

Quarter Final

Date/Time Fixture Score
Feb 11, 2023 - 10:45 AM Nick James & Mike Bailey (1) bt J. Bunn & F. Brookes-Smith 15/0 15/2
Feb 11, 2023 - 12:45 PM G. Smith-Bingham & C. Portz (4) bt O. Cooke & C. Marlow-Thomas or T. Foster & D. Kent 15/8 15/9
Feb 11, 2023 - 11:30 AM B. Stevens & T. Stevens (3) bt E. Springett & Tom Woodthorpe 15/4 15/2
Feb 11, 2023 - 1:00 PM Tom Billings & Magnus Garson (2) bt R.Giddins & J. Manton-Jones vs 15/5 10/15 15/12

Semi Final

Date/Time Fixture Score
Feb 11, 2023 - 2:15 PM James & Bailey bt Smith-Bingham & Portz 15/6 16/8 15/4
Feb 11, 2023 - 3:30 PM Billings & Garson bt B. Stevens & T. Stevens 15/9 15/9 15/4


Date/Time Fixture Score
Feb 11, 2023 - 5:00 PM Billings & Garson bt James & Bailey 15/13 15/10 13/15 15/1

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