Flashback to 2006

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13 years ago this week our Club appeared in the Evesham Journal showcasing two Pershore Players, Jonny Marray and David Sherwood, representing Pershore for the first time. 

Write-up by Peter Corbishley:

In 2005 the new indoor centre on Pershore Tennis Club’s Avonbank site was formally opened. The new head coach appointed was Richard Crabtree, a member of the highly successful Yorkshire men’s county team (regular winners of the Division 1 county championships title). Richard brought with him another Yorkshireman, Andy Banks, who was at that time ranked GB number 7 men’s singles player but who had just lost his LTA funding and was now training to become a coach.

In 2006 the club entered for the first time the National Doubles League which was restricted to clubs with indoor facilities. There were few restraints on who could play for Pershore, though in the early rounds the team included top Pershore and Worcestershire county player, Rob Lowe.

The captain, Dan Kiernan, was a well-known figure in the Midlands but also nationally as a top doubles player. 6-0 wins against Edgbaston Priory and Wolverhampton took Pershore to the top of the Midlands League before they hosted Next Generation Dudley in November 2006 with a very interesting team (see picture above).

The photo shows 2 players representing Pershore for the first time. One is Jonny Marray and the other is David Sherwood, both at that time Yorkshire county players. Jonny Marray went on to become in 2012 the first Briton to win the Wimbledon men’s doubles title since 1936, partnering Freddie Nielsen and beating the Bryan brothers in the semis en route to a thrilling 5-set final. In 2013 Jonny represented GB in the Davis Cup for the first time, partnering Colin Fleming in a winning doubles match against Russia.

The son of 1968 Mexico Olympics silver medallist, Sheila (long jump), and 400 metres bronze medallist, John, David Sherwood was a prodigious talent. Unfortunately, he came off the rails in 2003, being expelled from the LTA for his behaviour on and off court. Given a second chance in 2005, David made his debut for the GB Davis Cup team, partnering a little-known fellow Davis Cup debutant called Andy Murray. Together they beat the world no. 4 ranked Israeli pair on the way to a 3-2 win for GB. In the same year he reached round 2 of Wimbledon men’s singles, losing to Feliciano Lopez.

Pershore went on to beat Solihull, Cambridge and Loughborough University en route to the national finals played on Teesside featuring the top 12 teams in the UK. With prize money of £ 40,000 at stake the Pershore team, now featuring Pakistani no. 1 Aisam Qureshi, French doubles specialist Jean-Francois Bachelot and  Mark Hilton as well as Sherwood, made it to the final where they were narrowly defeated by a strong Royal Berkshire team.