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Captain's Blog - Star Date 17th December 2018

Very well attended sessions last Monday and Thursday show that both are still thriving despite the variable weather at the moment. Sadly, Andy G was a no-mates on Saturday pm as it rained all day but Andy just had to get another look at the prized silver salver (Sussex Club of the Year) on top of the clubhouse beer keller, sorry, I mean fridge. Andy said that you can look but you mustn't touch! The Mens 1 won 3:1 at Comptons on Sunday which is some result I can assure you. Both teams are unbeaten in 8 Winter League matches including 6 wins. 5 matches remaining with the next towards the end of January. And so to tonight with a Baker's Dozen attending. Normally at this time of year Sue Ratford is the only lady player often on Monday evenings, but Robin, Cordy, Misti and Annabel were present enjoying a very good evening's tennis on a day of mild December weather. Despite all the recent rain the courts and balls were excellent for play. Lady's Man Steve was peeling off layers but thankfully stopped at his last skin tight tee shirt. That disappointed some who were keen to check how much of his slipway at Port Issac tan was still left in mid December (and his interesting Cornish Pirate tatoo)! Cordy was on court renewing her marriage vows to the club absolutely loving every minute. Yes, this IS the life. Anyone going to the Stones on Friday  (sorry we had to delete the Druid and Pagan affiliation column on the membership database - outrageous I say) to celebrate will know that from Saturday the days will start getting longer and conversely the nights shorter. As every tennis play knows Vitamin D is very important for strong bones and the more daylight the more vitamin D (and us more senior players can see the ball better too) ....Andy is already thinking now that there needs to be a Vitamin question in the Christmas 2019 Club Quiz and the more keen quizzers are swotting up already! Mens session on Thursday night this week with the Santa Smash from 2-4 pm on Saturday. Will Santa (aka David G) be on court in his suit? Are his red trousers still split? Father Christmas! Warm Mulled Wine, Warm Mulled non-alcoholic festive punch and warm mulled mince pies will be on hand too to make you feel, well, 'warm and mulled!'.

Cheers, Mark

PS   I am advised that those reading this on your phone have to scroll though reams of email addresses which I must admit I had not considered, so I will have to devise something to avoid this I for the 2019 list!

Captain's Blog - Star Date 25th November 2018

12 guys slugged it out at Mens Team Night on Thursday making a perfect number to fast rotate around the 3 courts with Cordy arriving a little later to get involved in the final sets of the night. A tad colder now where you try not to breathe out when receiving serve for fear having to see through the exhaled fog that many of have become accustomed to through some 20 odd years of playing through the winter in the evenings! I can even recall a few years ago Ian R pouring Saxa table salt onto the courts to help the defrosting. It helped dissolve the ice but left a rather gritty footing. I haven't tried eating any of the terracotta sand yet but hopefully it is salty. Frost is not a factor now. If you thought it too wet for tennis today, spare a thought for the Mens2 team who entertained possibly their toughest opponents (Rugwick) in the 4th match of the winter league in the rain and still won 4:0 making it 4 wins from 4 so far and 6 points clear at the top of the table with 2 to play in Feb & March. Retroman Adrian is starting work at 5am, finishing at 9am and played yesterday 10.30am. That's dedication. Sporting a yellow rain repelling poncho, partner Andy G was very pleased to see Adrian discard the item at the end of the prematch warm-up. However I see this as a distinct improvement on his Mums pink cagoule a few years ago at The Weald tennis club which is now legend at STC and part of our folklore. Andy G (The Wall) broke strings on both Thursday and Friday evenings leaving him to borrow one of my old rackets. He chose a Dunlop 300 and whilst enjoying the balance struggled a bit with the weight and grip size but this did not stop Amelie Mauresmo winning the Wimbledon Ladies final with it a few back now. He was offered one of my all conquering Yonex MP1 rackets as used by Leyton Hewitt but could quite manage the loud (C'MON) shout after every point winning shot so steered clear of it. The courts played brilliantly in the light rain again  impressing Rudgwick.  Cheers, Mark.

PS thanks to all those who replied to the last blog praising the club for winning the Sussex (LTA) Club of the Year Award.

Captain's Blog - Star Date 16th November 2018

15 guys attended Mens Night. New to our ranks is Vaughn who coaches at Ashtead Tennis Club. As a coach (and new prospective member) there was little generosity shown as the guys seemed determined to show him what they are made of on our competitive Thursday evenings as well as they are used to (unlike Vaughn} the dimmer floodlit conditions and heavier clay courts.....Vaughn coaches on tarmacadam (remember - the black stuff they put on roads) at times of day when vampires are not to be seen. Anyway Vaughn must have enjoyed himself as he plans to now join I understand. Wise move but let's hope that Vaughn doesn't develop fang like teeth though. Cheers, Mark. PS, O+ is his favorite!


STOP PRESS !!!!! 18.11.2018 - Slinfold Tennis Club wins the much coveted SUSSEX TENNIS CLUB of the YEAR AWARD presented at the Amex Stadium in Brighton last evening. More to follow from the committee. On top of that the Mens 2 team won again, that's 3 from 3.

Captain's Blog - Star Date 8th November 2018

10 guys and Cordy at Mens Night last evening which meant for the second Thursday running running my enforced absence through various 'old age' ailments sort of messed things up as we needed another on court body to make it perfect...sorry guys (& Cordy). Ladies Man (Steve) duly passed an appropriate comment to me about not playing which is obviously deserved but can't be repeated here! Some brisk tactical hitting was evident on court with the slower pace of the sand in true Autumnal evening conditions making winners a little more demanding but not impossible. It is noticeable that players prepared to run everything down and keep the ball in play with consistency and length regularity are increasingly effective against the power game players who are more effective in the dryer daytime atmosphere and temperatures. What a load of baloney I hear some say and why on earth am I reading this tosh! The Wall (Andrew) was overseeing perfectly as usual and put on his court dragging harness as soon as play finished as he seems to get a certain degree of satisfaction from this necessary task that some others don't! Cheers, Mark.

Captain's Blog - Star Date 3rd November 2018.

A wonderful November afternoon at very sunny Slinfold TC with just over a dozen Sat pm sessioners enjoying a windless enjoyable game. Only tricky bit was the very low sun at this time of year before it latterly fell below the conifers making the game easier for those facing south! A football match was taking place too meaning a seldom full car park of 36 vehicles plus Rob's scooter! Interestingly we have 44 marked spaces so we all might have to squeeze in a bit on football match days going forward as we have got used to spreading out whilst the Football Club have been away. Having said that, it was not a problem. The court sand is slightly damper now that we are in late Autumn so wiping your feet thoroughly especially before entering the Clubhouse is a must please. Mens 2 won their match 4:0 at Horsham TC with the same sun, but windy there too as it often is! Cheers, Mark.