Club Championships - Doubles FInals

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The Mens Doubles Final saw the Mens Singles finalists on opposite sides of the net again. Felix Beech was paired with club Director of Coaching, Ralph Clarke and Alex Smith was playing with Coach and recurring finalist/winner from previous years, Nick Crowson. Many spectators felt that Ralph and Felix were strong favourites for the title but it was Alex and Nick who went storming through to an early lead, taking the first set 6-2. Nick, in particular, could do no wrong.

Ralph and Felix came back into the match in the second set, taking it 6-3, Felix was getting stronger as the match progressed and Nick’s golden spell gradually tapered off.  The match was then evenly balanced at one set all. The standard of doubles remained very high throughout the third set but once Ralph and Felix edged ahead they looked unstoppable. Alex and Nick briefly regained momentum in the middle of the set before Ralph and Felix closed out the match with a strong finish, taking the final set 6-4.

This match was a great example of competitive men’s doubles at it’s very best, fiercely competitive yet with the good sportsmanship we have come to expect from tennis on show throughout. All four players are surely a credit to the club.

The Ladies Doubles Final was a repeat of last year’s final, defending champions and mother and daughter team, Deborah and Sophie Walker playing against first team ladies Rachael Prentice and Emily John-Davis. Deborah and Sophie made by far the better start, racing through the first set 6-1 in very short order. After an error prone first set and a half, Rachael and Emily finally found their feet and came battling back to take the second set all the way to the tie-break. The tie break itself was a tense and nervy affair as it got towards the end of the set but Deborah and Sophie held on to take the tie-break 12-10 and with it the title, 6-1, 7-6.

The Mixed Doubles Final was the last match of the afternoon. Alex Smith and Sophie Walker took to the court for their third match of the day, playing together against long established mixed doubles pairing, Rachael Prentice and Gennaro Viglione. The feeling among spectators watching the players warming up was that while Alex and Sophie were the likely winners on paper, their tough earlier matches might have taken a bit out of them and Rachael and Gennaro were experienced  enough to take advantage of any opportunities that might come their way.

Alex and Sophie had obviously not read the same script, they continued on their good form of the day and took the title fairly comfortably in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Rachael continued to raise her game following the Ladies Doubles Final and indeed seemed to relish the extra pace of the mixed doubles but partner Gennaro, coming on to court cold for his first match of the day, seemed a little off the pace at the start of the match. This allowed Alex and Sophie to get away to a good lead which they never looked like losing, their straight sets victory a fair reflection of the match.

Running alongside the Adults Finals were the Girls 14&U Final playoffs and the Boys 14&U Final, the write up for these and the other Junior Championships decided prior to the main day, is in the Junior Reports News Post.


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