Phil Dunn writes:
Manchester lost to RTC, 0/5:
Despite the weather getting steadily worse north of Watford, the RTC team all made it up to Manchester for the first round of the defence of “our” Pol Roger Trophy (including the Sohlman who’d fitted winter tyres to his ridiculous car especially for the trip). After a practice the evening before and for an hour before the match itself we were confident that the Manchester court would provide many funny bounces, particularly from directly in front of the tambour and that layers were going to be necessary (many, many layers and possibly hats).
First up were Phil Dunn and James Sohl in the second-string doubles against Guy Maxwell and Mark Seymour Mead. After a few shared games in the first set the RTC pairing steadied the ship and came away with a 6/3, 6/1 victory.
First string singles pitted RTC’s Peter Wright (was his bandana against the cold?) against Robert Shenkman who’d been honing his tennis at Queen’s over the summer. Despite some outrageous retrieving from the tambour, speed of movement and generally high level of tennis Robert went down 6/3, 6/4. 2/0 RTC with three to play.
Nick Hatchett at second string singles was up against Robert’s father, and Manchester captain, Simon Shenkman. A solid first set from the RTC man and it was quickly 6/1. Simon used his home court advantage and rackets background to put more pressure on Nick in the second, helped by Nick forcing consistently into the middle of the net but nevertheless the set went away from Simon towards the end and was finished by Nick’s first force on target – a 6/1, 6/4 victory putting RTC over the winning line 3/0.
Tom Freeman had the unenviable task of playing while the majority of his team mates were enjoying lunch. His opponent was rackets youngster Alex Duncliffe-Vines who played predominantly right-handed but with a few left-handed forehands thrown in. Both players were using and defending pace with aplomb but Tom was too consistent during the important points (did I just mention Tom and “consistent” in the same sentence…) and wrapped up a 6/4, 6/3 victory.
Last up were the first string doubles pairings of David and James Watson (RTC) against Mark Openshaw Blower and Adam Holloway (Manchester). The latter pairing were certainly doubles specialists with Adam being fearless at the front of the court (including standing at Hazard the door in front of the tambour on occasion…) while Mark was finding good angles from the back. However the Watsons are also no strangers to doubles and had too much firepower giving RTC a 6/2, 6/4 victory in a high quality match and 5/0 RTC on the day.
Next up are the winners of the Queen’s vs Moreton tie.
|Second doubles||Guy Maxwell / Mark Seymour Mead||lost to||Phil Dunn / James Sohl||3/6 1/6|
|First singles||Robert Schenkman||lost to||Peter Wright||3/6 4/6|
|Second singles||Simon Schenkman||lost to||Nick Hatchett||1/6 4/6|
|Third singles||Alex Duncliffe-Vines||lost to||Tom Freeman||4/6 3/6|
|First doubles||Mark Openshaw Blower / Adam Holloway||lost to||David Watson / James Watson||2/6 4/6|