There were some stand-out performances as some of the best tennis players in the county went head to head at finals weekend at Oakham Tennis Club.
In the ladies singles finals, Carolyn Davies and Michelle Greening fought a very long, gruelling match over two hours until Davies ran out a worthy winner. They had tested each other from start to finish, making it an exciting final for the spectators. Davies won 6-1 4-6 6-4.
This match had been preceded by the men’s singles – contested between Piers Evley and Peter Farrar.
It was full of hard-hitting drives to all four corners of the court with crafty drop shots after a long rally which sometimes won the point. This was a match of youth versus experience and eventually youth won the day but only by a very small margin. Evley, playing in his first final won 7-5 6-4. The spectators were enthralled by the deftness and speed of the pair around the court, producing exciting tennis from start to finish.
Evely then went on to play in the men’s doubles with Greg Delaney. They took on the experienced Edmund Dry and Ken Stewart. Again the spectators were entertained by clever doubles play from all four. Eventually, Delaney and Evley overcame the determined pair who had tested every shot.
Stewart decided to make a day of it as he competed again with Dry in the veterans men’s doubles but had no better luck there as they lost to Gordon Smith and Peter Farrar in another very closely-contested struggle of determination and cunning use of angles.
Stewart’s earlier foray into the plate final was his best result as he showed a young keen Max Jones some of the subtler points of the game. Jones played well throughout but lacked enough consistency to make it too awkward for Stewart.
The ladies doubles finalists of last year fought it out again this year and provided plenty of entertainment. Jane Wood and Debbie Powell played strongly, hoping to counter the testing shots of Jane Gilmore and Laura Reekie. The struggle went into a tiebreak in the first set. Again, youth overcame experience and it went to Wood and Powell. The second set was different as the eventual winners raced ahead but not before the Gilmore/Reekie combination tested them.
The mixed doubles final was a very fiercely-contested match which went to three sets. Dan Potter and Debbie Powell showed all their skills against Justin Fowler and Ana Weber. All four smacked balls, sliced balls and lobbed balls in the hope of outwitting their opponents. The match was decided in the third set by a tiebreak, with the eventual winners Potter and Powell.
In the plate mixed doubles, Richard Wilson and Clare Adams beat Selwyn and Cate Carter.
In the junior competition, Rory Chambers beat Harvey Seel in the under-16 final. The under-8 title was won by Monty Adams and under-9s by Samuel Seechran.