TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018 REPORT
Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club recently staged its annual closed senior and junior Closed Tennis Championships Finals. The tournament was scheduled over five weeks and was played, for once, in glorious sunshine throughout the whole event. The Finals’ Day proved to be one of the hottest on record but, despite the difficult conditions, all the finals were completed on time.
This year the Men’s singles event attracted one of the highest number of entries in recent history and overall 103 members took part in the championships and in total 155 matches were played. Last year’s champion, Oliver Dixon, was not defending his title this year and subsequently 2 new names battled for the Men’s Championship title.
Club Members took part in the Ladies’ Singles, Ladies’ Doubles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles as well. The Junior and Mini-tennis Championships were also staged during the same period with the many of the finals’ matches being played concurrently. No.1 seed lady player, Katica Robertson, once again reached her 3 respective finals but she was faced with some exciting challenges from new names on the order of play.
The Mini-green and mini-red members played their tournaments in the morning, away from the searing sun. The mini-red mixed competition was organised into a round robin with Amber Haig winning the gold medal, Isaac Wagstaff, the silver and the bronze medal was awarded to Luke Flood. The mini-green event was als organised as a round robin draw. Third place, and the bronze medal, was awarded to Cody Dunning with George Haig taking the silver medal and the winner of the event was Diego Savage-Melendez. Both events were played in a Fast4 format.
The 12U boys’ tournament was organised into a knock out draw with a plate competition for first match runners-up. The title decider match was played later in the morning and was won by Fred Whitby with a 6.2, 6.0 victory over Joseph Robinson. Diego Savage-Melendez won the 12U Boys’ plate final with a 7.6, 7.5 win against Elliott Hill.
The main events commenced at 11.30am and first on the front clay courts the Men’s Doubles and Ladies’ Doubles finals were scheduled to open the senior championships. In the Men’s event the new pairing of Noah Burton and Chris Green played Tony Roddis and Andy Apperley. Roddis and Apperley took the 1st set 2.6 in 41 minutes. Burton and Green, however, tenaciously fought back to take the next 6.4 in 49 minutes. The thrilling match was decided with a Championship Tie-break. Burton and Green forged a 7.3 lead but Roddis and Apperley kept their nerve and steadfastly clawed back to 8 all. Both pairings were playing exceptionally well and it went with serve to 9 all then 10 all but Roddis and Apperley finally clinched the title 10.12 after 1 hour 43 minutes of superb tennis.
In the Ladies’ Doubles Katica Robertson and Sue Foott played another new pairing, Gilly Stuart Smith and Nikki Shale. Robertson and Foott won 6.4, 6.2 and Katica took her first step to another triple-crown.
The much anticipated Men’s Singles followed. The balcony was full of spectators and they were not disappointed as they watched both players battle for their first Men’s Singles Championship Title of the Club. Noah Burton, a previous 14U junior champion at the Club, played Chris Green (BTM 5.2 rating). Burton is a BTM 2.2 rated player and is currently Sussex No.2 and National No.57 at 16U and Sussex No.6 in the 18U age category. In June, Burton won the Open Men’s Singles tournament (Summer Series), staged at the National Tennis Centre.
There was outstanding match play from both players with long, hard hitting rallies, superb serving, enviable skill and sheer tenacity to win every point. It was a very close fought match and Burton finally won the championship 6.4, 6.4 in 1 hour 46 minutes. Burton is now the second youngest winner, on record, of the Men’s Singles Championship title.
On the adjacent court Katica Robertson, was playing in the second of her three finals; she played Amy Wright and won 6.3, 6.2. This was a record fourteenth time that Katica has won the Ladies’ Singles Club championship; the first was in 1990.
The final match was the awaited Mixed Doubles between the reigning champions, and No.1 seeds, Justin Pollard and Katica Robertson [her 3rd final of the day] and the No.2 seeds, again another new pairing, Sue Foott and David Kislingbury [both first team players for the Club]. Pollard and Robertson took the first set 6.1 in just 25 minutes. The match, however, turned around in the second set as Foott and Kislingbury matched the champions, game for game. Pollard and Robertson, nevertheless, resolutely battled to retain the title and won the second set 7.5.
Other results: Winner(s) Runner(s)-up
Ladies’ Doubles Plate Pauline Scott & Janet Briggs Penny Gardner & Jayne Ellison
Mixed Doubles Plate: Ileana Melendez Ruiz & Paul Savage Janet Briggs & Siva Pillai
Men’s Doubles Plate Adam Turner & Damian Andrews Paul Lynch & James Ward
Men’s Singles Plate Neal Smith Jon Grave
Ladies’ Singles Plate Catherine Hutchin Joanna Duncan-Smith
Boys’ 16 &U Callum Budd Adriano Ruggieri