County Seniors Shine at Newmarket ITF event
It’s easy to single out just the trophy winners and congratulate them for their efforts at the inaugural Seniors ITF Tournament held at Newmarket but the reality is that everyone that took part in the tournament were winners in one way or another.
For a start. Newmarket Tennis Club Committee headed by Bruce Tarran should be congratulated for having the drive and enthusiasm to create a new tournament during such challenging times and of course their members for giving up their court time and staffing the refreshments bar. They may or may not have made a profit but they’re all winners for creating the only December competition in the UK. Then of course there were the players, some of whom were local and others who’d travelled from as far away as Yorkshire, London, and Cornwall all in search of competition tennis.
In a show of solidarity to our neighbouring County, Cambridge County fielded several players. As always in tournaments, some players fared better than others. The highlights being:
- Jenny Chin playing down an age group in the Ladies 55s singles was eventually beaten in the semi-final by the No 1 seed and winner of the tournament.
- Playing in her own age group with her doubles partner Sue Mitchell, Jenny Chin took home the coveted winner’s trophy for WD 60’s doubles.
- Mark Sanders had a remarkable run in the Men’s 65s singles, littering the draw with discarded seeded players until conquered in a thrilling hard-fought final by one of the top UK players.
- Mark Sanders and Jim Hunter beat the No 2 seeds but failed to overcome the No 1 seeds in the 65’s doubles. Taking nothing away from the winners, I’ll always wonder if the result was influenced in any way by this being Mark’s 3rd match in just over 4 hours.
- Finally, Jim Hunter won Men’s 70s age group by defeating the No 1 seed enroute and then the 2 seed in the final.
There were no losers at this tournament, only winners. It was great to experience the fun and camaraderie of tournament play again, and I can only say, if you haven’t tried it because you think you’re not good enough, then think again. Tournaments can only survive if players enter, and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Report by Jim Hunter.