2023 Club Finals !

The Ladies Final featured 4 players who had never played on finals day before and in spite of all players saying how nervous they were, it was a high quality match with long rallies and incisive drives and net interceptions. Lizzie Geeson and Penny Morgan had won a really competitive qualifying group in great style and came into the match in confident form with consistent ground shots and steady serving. Mikaela Deakin and Lucy Moss were less predictable pairing up Mikaela's super steady ground shots on both wings with Lucy's greater power and strong net play, but less consistency. In the end scoreboard pressure made a big difference to the outcome as Mikaela and Lucy edged ahead. Lizzie and Penny came back strongly in the first set from 4-2 down to level at 4-4 but couldn't quite keep up momentum into the 9th game. The second set started well for Mikaela and Lucy and they were able to maintain pressure through the set to win their first Redbourn senior title.

2023 featured a very strong Men's final with James and George Booth coming up against Mike Minchin and left hander Paul Benzie. It was a hard fought match, with strong serving from both sides and some powerful hitting, but in the end the extra weight of shot from the Booths proved decisive with deep serves and ground shots allowing them to follow up and dominate at the net. Paul and Mike did very well to hang in through both sets but eventually James and George came through 6-3, 6-3 adding the Men's Doubles to a strong Redbourn track record when playing together.

The Improvers 2023 was the match of the day going to the wire in an epic three sets with the very first game lasting over 15 minutes. James Fishwick and Jeni Slade lined up against Kate Smith and Gavin Rothwell, with all four players taking up or returning to tennis over the last 18 months. The Improver Final is an opportunity to showcase Redbourn's strength at introducing players to tennis and encouraging their progress as they learn the game. This year's final did not disappoint. It  featured really long rallies and demonstrated amazing tactical doubles progress  with strong net play. In the end Jeni and and James triumphed at the end of a tense final set earning the adulation of the adoring crowd!

The ladies singles final pitted newcomer Mikaela Deakin fresh from her success in the doubles against Redbourn's "Greatest Of All Time" Jo Benfield (White) . Mikaela had won easily through to the final sweeping away her challengers, but found a different challenge awaiting in the final as Jo's power and aggression on court proved too much for Mikaela's consistency from the back. Over the years the Ladies singles had been in severe decline at the club, but 2023 has seen a renaissance with 12 entries to the competition which has been fantastic. It has been great to see the new enthusiasm for ladies singles in the club with a number of ladies now wanting to play this format regularly. It is a very different challenge to doubles, but can also really help consistency and fitness. Sooner or later one of our challengers will start to match Jo's match play experience!

The Men's Singles was  a long hard fought match over 2 hours with George Booth's strength and shot making against Tim Moss' accuracy and stamina. The first set went to George with his power especially to the backhand wing proving decisive along with a high proportion of winning first serves. George's first serve ratio dropped off in the second set allowing Tim back into the match and to take the set. The third set followed the same pattern with George hitting winners off anything short and Tim trying to extend rallies and move George from side to side. In the end George's error count slightly outweighed his winners as they moved to the end of a gruelling third set with Tim just coming out on top.The Mixed  Final saw previous winners Philippa Webb and George Booth up against Tim Moss and finals newcomer Lucy Moss. George started serving very strongly in the first set, especially as he had only just come off the singles final! The first set was super close but Philippa and George took it on the tiebreak 7-6. The second set was won by some strong and consistent angled serving from Philippa which gave George opportunities at the net as well as some very strong backhand retrieving from Philippa. Lucy did very well against George's strong hitting, but Tim couldn't keep his singles consistency and kept giving George too much time at the net and dropped his first serve percentage losing his service game early in the set. Tim & Lucy couldn't make inroads into this early lead and George and Philippa won in straight sets 7-6, 6-3

The Seeded Competition in 2023 drew a record number of entries and the heats were hugely enjoyed by the players. Kulbir Lalli unfortunately is injured and so the seeded final with George Booth against Gregory Moulton and Richard Wilson will be played later.  We asked James Booth and Abir Montes who just missed finals day qualification to play an Exhibition match against Greg and Richard and we enjoyed a hugely entertaining match which Greg and Richard won 6-3 6-3. The seeded competition is all about giving all club members a chnce to get to finals day and this years competition delivered with our exactly "middle" seeded pair Richard and Greg playing together and winning through to the final. We will let everyone know when the final is reschduled and we can see if Richard and Greg can manage a double triumph against the Booths!