Leaving hosts Wigmore down 2-7:
A well contested and good natured tie was hosted by Wigmore against Norbury Park on Sunday 7 May in which six or seven desperately close matches that saw most of the chips falling Norbury’s way, gave the overall result of 7-2 a rather distorted look.
The day started with Wigmore’s 12 year old Jeremy Simmons giving away 2 years and a fair bit of experience to Norbury’s Mark Lovejoy but, nonetheless, acquitting himself very well with several stylish winners catching the eye. Mark, wisely, simply racked up the games with a nice steady performance to set the visitors on their way.
Meanwhile, on Court 1, the Ladies 40 & Over vets was under way, in which Norbury’s Carole Watson survived a match point with a cruel net-cord and took advantage to edge out Wigmore’s unlucky Jenny Burton 12-10 in the match tiebreak. Although the general tone of the contest was cautious, occasionally both ladies would lose patience and crash terrific winners down the line.
Out on Court 3 it looked as if Marek Strzrelichowski [NP] had more then met his match in Wigmore’s Steven Williams who, at first, seemed to relish the attritional, nihilistic nature of the battle and edged into a 4-3 lead in the first set.
By this stage, though, the rallies could be timed with a sundial and this was where Marek gradually wrested the initiative to grind out a win in the Men’s 45 & Over vets.
The second round of matches saw Wigmore’s Sulphuro Burrell in scintillating form in the Men’s Open Singles; the usual blood-curdling serves backed up with lethal low backhands and some deft touches at the net. Kelvin Douglas-Gordon [NP], however, was scarcely recumbent – matching his powerful opponent for much of the contest and not quite taking his chances, maybe, in a very entertaining second set.
The ladies equivalent saw the visitors’ athletic and sweet-hitting Charmaine Boyd score a good win over Karen Davey – but karma was lurking in the Ladies Doubles…
Out on Court 3 was, perhaps, the match of the day in the Girls 16 & Under Singles where Lucy Redfern [W] and Monica Wiszowaty [NP] served up an absolute treat.
Ferocious hitting, extraordinary retrieving and all played in a generous spirit as they brought out the best in each other.
Lucy, lightning quick around the court, seemed to be in control in the early stages, but Monica, gradually growing in confidence, seized the second set and carved out a lead in the match tiebreak, which she just about held throughout.
And so to the final round and the Ladies Doubles where Charmaine Boyd and Karen Davey were reunited – with respective partners Annemarie O’Hara and Sarah O’Dwyer.
After a slow start, the Norbury pair hit a hot patch to overhaul the host team and seal the first stanza. Unbowed, the Wigmore ladies fought back, with some pulverising returns in particular, to recapture the momentum, the second set and the match tiebreak.
The Men’s Doubles saw a battlefield promotion for Wigmore joint-captain Nick Eastwood, who had settled down for a nice easy day mooching around the bar and watching a bit of football.
He and partner David Chamberlain, having ceded the first set to fast-starting Tom Brown & Terry McGranaghan, really got going in a see-sawing second set that none of the spectators would place a wager on. Terry’s very steady final service game just got the visitors over the line.
As ever in the Millennium Cup it seems, the Mixed Doubles was a celebration of cheerful inconsistency; delicate touches at the net followed by routine groundstrokes burrowing their way into the base of the rigging.
Norbury’s Blaise Westmaas & Colleen Dodds could never quite shake off host Captain Clare Sanderson & Paul Billett and the outcome was still very much in doubt right up to a bizarre match point.
Chasing a deep lob, Paul swiped out in desperation and made such prodigious connection that the ball steepled up skywards almost disappearing from view… meanwhile, back on planet earth, Blaise [with time to time roll a cigarette] awaited its descent patiently and, suppressing a chuckle, somehow summoned up the match-winning shot.
A big thank you to Clare & Nick for upholding Wigmore’s customary hospitality and we look forward to reciprocating in due course.
Nigel Flay, Captain, Norbury Park Lawn Tennis Club
Wigmore lost to Norbury Park 2-7
[Wigmore names first]
Women’s Singles: Karen Davey lost to Charmaine Boyd 6-1 6-1: Men’s Singles: Sulphuro Burrell d Kelvin Douglas-Gordon 6-3 6-4; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Jenny Burton lost to Carole Watson 4-6 7-6(0) [12-10]; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Steven Williams lost to Marek Strzrelichowski 6-4 6-1; Girls Under 16 Singles: Lucy Redfern lost to Monica Wiszowaty 2-6 6-3 [10-7]; Boys Under 16 Singles: Jeremy Simmons lost to Marek Lovejoy 6-1 6-0; Women’s Doubles: Karen Davey & Sarah O’Dwyer d Charmaine Boyd & Anne-Marie O’Hara 5-7 6-3 [10-3]; Men’s Doubles: David Chamberlain & Nick Eastwood d Tom Brown & Terry McGranaghan 6-3 7-5; Mixed Doubles: Clare Sanderson & Paul Billett lost to Colleen Dobbs & Blaise Westmans 7-6(6) 6-4.