In tie that goes down to the wire…
Wigmore’s Karen Davey and Andrea Thompson from WGTC were both admirably early meaning that the Women’s 40 & Over Singles started 20 minutes early, a head start that was later to prove invaluable as so many epic battles ensued.
Early signs were that Andrea was going to forge ahead taking the first few games but it did not take long for Karen to settle in and adapt to the slightly more enclosed conditions of WGTC.
There were some long and arduous battles peppered with some very tactically placed lobs, leading to Wigmore’s first win of the day 6-3 6-3.
Next up was the Boys 16 & Under Singles with WGTC’s Joe Quan and Billy O’Dwyer from Wigmore, who had both also turned up early, entering the club with boundless energy and a keenness that led the Captains to give them pride of place on centre court, a decision that proved to be well made.
The boys entertained the crowd to a masterclass in perfectly crafted top spin forehands and power shots that would have given some of our first team squad a run for their money.
Joe took the first set 6-1 after many hard-fought rallies and one could have been forgiven for thinking that he was set for victory except that Billy was not going to let it go and displayed real mental strength to take the second set 6-4.
In the match tiebreak victory eventually fell to Billy, 10-8, concluding an amazing match from which there was no doubt that we will be seeing more of them both playing for their respective clubs.
Meanwhile on Court 3, the Men’s Doubles was underway with Wigmore powering ahead taking the first set 6-1.
In spite of some excellent rallies and some deuce games, Wigmore’s Will Elliott and Matt Simpson made a formidable team and gave hosts Lev Husnu and Adam Callaghan a good work-out on court.
The second set saw Lev and Adam put in a valiant effort but, on the day, they could not quite break down the pairing of Will and Matt and the final score went to Wigmore, 6-1 6-3.
Moving on to Round 2, Wigmore had already gone up 3-0 and it was time for the Girls16 & Under Singles that saw Woodfield’s Viviana Bustamante stepping up against and Elsie Fairn, who was playing her first ever tournament match.
In spite of what must have been a nerve-wracking experience for Elsie, she entered the court with a smile and played some beautiful, text-book shots but Viviana’s slightly greater match experience told, and she took the match without dropping a game.
On Court 1, the Women’s Singles had started between Naomi Anderson (WG) and Anna Hodgkinson (W), which provided the crowd with a real spectacle as they munched on homemade lasagne, macaroni cheese and Spanish tortilla kindly prepared by WGTC’s Millennium Cup Vice Captain Jo Kiernander, club member Blaise Marin-Curtoud and Susana Bustamante, Viviana’s mum.
The first set went to Wigmore in the tiebreak, after some epic groundstroke battles and inspired lobbing from Anna.
In spite of the gruelling first set, Naomi found a surge of energy and took the second set 6-2 and force the deciding match tiebreak which she ultimately won 10-6 in what was one of the greatest matches of the tie and gave WGTC its second win of the day.
On Court 3, the Men’s 45 & Over Men’s Singles was taking place, and it looked like it was going to be an easy win for Wigmore’s John MacLean as he blasted Jon Elwes off the court, 6-1, with a combination of strong serving, cunning drop shots and some superb lobbing.
Jon found his feet in the second set, and managed to go 3-0 up before close battle ensued, leading to 6-6 and a tiebreak, which John, maintaining his better consistency, took 7-5 and earning another win for Wigmore.
So, with the overall scoreline at 4-2 in Wigmore’s favour, the next three matches were pivotal.
WGTC’s Ben Davies along with Wigmore’s Chris Davies took to centre court for the Men’s Singles and provided the onlooking crowd with an intense match of hard-hitting with increasingly fast serving.
Ben took the first set 6-4 only to find himself 3-0 down in the second set.
From this point, there was no sign of any weakness from either player and balls that ordinarily would not be returned kept coming back.
It was a great match which, in the end, was won by Ben, 6-4 7-5, giving Woodfield Grove a lifeline in the tie.
Both Naomi (WG) and Anna (W), who had barely drawn breath after their singles, were playing again, Naomi in the Women’s Doubles and Anna in the Mixed.
The first result that came through was from the doubles where Wigmore’s Sharon Gould and Alex McAdam put up a good fight, especially in the second set, but it was Naomi and Jo, dressed in co-ordinated purple outfits (by coincidence, not planning!) convincingly took the match 6-2 6-4, resulting in the tie scoreline being levelled at 4 all.
This meant that all was resting on the final Mixed Doubles rubber.
Anna, who seemed to have been energised by her singles match, and her partner Nick Eastwood came out fighting and took the first set 6-3.
This in no way put off WGTC’s David Knott and Candice Kyle, who replied admirably returning some spectacular shots from both Nick and Anna and winning the second set 6-1.
It was probably at this point that WGTC’s bar took the most money as a tense home crowd bought drinks to help settle their nerves.
A great final set which saw Wigmore win 6-3 taking the final result of the day in Wigmore’s favour 5-4.
It was a thoroughly pleasurable day and WGTC really enjoyed hosting Wigmore, who were the perfect guests.
Needless to say, there was quite a crowd from both WGTC and Wigmore, who carried on eating and drinking long after the last tennis ball had been hit… a good day for the club bar!
Report by Jon Elwes, WGTC Millennium Cup Captain
Woodfield Grove lost to Wigmore 4-5
[WGTC names first]
Women’s Singles: Naomi Anderson d Anna Hodgkinson 6-7 6-2 [10-6]; Men’s Singles: Ben Davies d Chris Davies 6-4 7-5; Women’s Over 40 Singles: Andrea Thompson lost to Karen Davey 6-3 6-3; Men’s Over 45 Singles: Jon Elwes lost to John MacLean 6-1 7-6(5); Girls Under 16 Singles: Viviana Bustamante d Elsie Fairn 6-0 6-0; Boys Under 16 Singles: Joe Quan lost to Billy O’Dwyer 1-6 6-4 [10-8]; Women’s Doubles: Naomi Anderson & Jo Kiernander d Sharon Goulds & Alex McAdam 6-2 6-4; Men’s Doubles: Lev Husnu & Adam Callaghan lost to Will Elliott & Matt Simpson 6-1 6-3; Mixed Doubles: Candice Kyle & David Knott lost to Anna Hodgkinson & Nick Eastwood 6-3 1-6 6-3.