Mens 1st Team v Raynes Park Residents – MATCH WON 4-0
Sat 17 Nov 2018
Match report: RLTC Mens 1st Team v Raynes Park Residents
MATCH WON 4-0
Thanks to Antoine de Cottignies, Nic Lasalvia, Tom Smith and Iain Ure for securing a thumping 4-0 victory at home against Raynes Park Residents last Sunday. With the rain lashing down on Saturday, there had been concern whether or not the courts would be playable, but the rain relented on Sunday an hour or so before the match was due to start… so the fixture was on!
In the initial rubber Antoine & Iain set about the Raynes Park first pair with fierce resolve and controlled aggression. Giving nothing away, the pair accumulated points in determined fashion and in no time the first set was secured for a bagel. The momentum stayed with the Richmond pair as they took the second set without fuss to win 6-0, 6-3.
Meanwhile next door, the new Richmond pairing of Nic & Tom went to work against the unorthodox Raynes Park second pairing. Business was slow-going at first, with the Richmond pair finding themselves 5-3 down in the opening set and serving to stay in the set. But Tom did just that, and in the next game some solid returning and clever volley play from Nic gave Richmond the first set 7-5. In the second set, silly errors and some passive tennis meant a 4-6 loss and the momentum was with Raynes Park. But Nic & Tom turned it around in the championship tie-break; at 6-6 the Richmond pair changed up a gear, and four quick unanswered points later the rubber was won 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6).
Inspired by Nic & Tom’s gritty win, Antoine & Iainwere determined to secure a victory over Raynes Park 2s. With hard-won tips from their team-mates, Antoine & Iain knew what to expect. The opponent’s metronomic serve placement in particular provided Iain with some pretty useful deuce court backhand returns practice. The dazzling sunshine was notable for effectively blinding the players on the northern side of the court and causing a regular spike in unforced error stats from both teams. Despite the challenging conditions, the Richmond pair felt in control, fashioning many opportunities and taking enough to close out the match 6-2, 6-3.
Then, in high spirits from their first match, Nic & Tom turned on the style to make light work of Raynes Park 1s. Patient tennis, with some lovely touch volleys thrown in from Nic and one or two booming down the line forehands from Tom, meant a 6-3, 6-4 win with minimal fuss.
“After only managing a draw in our first match of the season, against Oxshott," says Team Captain Iain Ure, "I’m pleased we've notched up a win and hope to repeat the success in our next match… which is a local derby against Priory Park at home on 25 November.”