Mixed pairs success at Woodland Tennis Club

IT was ideal conditions for tennis when Woodland Tennis Club hosted its fifth mixed veterans tournaments.

IT was ideal conditions for tennis when Woodland Tennis Club hosted its fifth mixed veterans' tournaments.

Named the Calvados Cup after former members and founders of the tournament, Don and Iris Skelton who moved to Normandy, France. Twenty-four players took part and were split into two sections where each pair played the other five pairs in their group. In section 1, new entrants to the tournament Jeff and Debbie Jones from Bishop Sutton won all their games, despite a tough set against Nathan Walker and Claire Mason from Wrington which was settled on a tie break. Jeff and Debbie went through as group winners with Nathan and Claire as runners-up.

In the other section, the strong pairing of county veterans Tony Wilford and Mary Walkerdine were comfortable winners, dropping only seven games against all their opponents. Runners-up were home team player Parag Singhal partnering Sheila Jenkins from Wedmore.

In the semi-finals, Jeff and Debbie Jones faced Parag and Sheila. Jeff's accuracy of shots and his agility overhead helped them to a comfortable 6-2 victory. In the other semi-final, Tony Wilford and Mary Walkerdine faced Nathan Walker and Claire Mason. Tony and Mary went 3-0 up but Nathan and Claire managed to pull back a game. There were some excellent rallies although Tony and Mary's consistent play saw them win through 6-2.

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The final was contested by Jeff and Debbie Jones and Tony Wilford and Mary Walkerdine from Knowle. Jeff and Debbie took an early lead and went 2-0 up, but Jeff missed a few smashes and let their opponents back into the match to level it at two games all. There were some excellent rallies with neither lady rarely making any unforced errors.

Tony looked like he was flagging slightly and Jeff took advantage to make his opponent run to cover his well-placed shots in both corners. Jeff and Debbie managed to break Tony's serve to take a 3-2 lead and then held to make it 4-2. Mary held her serve to make it 4-3 but the partnership could not break back and lost the final 6-4. Newly-elected president, Jeremy Lambart presented prizes of wine and chocolates to the winners and runner-up.

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Woodland recently held a free open morning for budding young tennis players and was overwhelmed by the interest and enthusiasm showed by the 30 children who went along.

The ages of the children ranged from four to 17 and they all took part in coaching sessions where they were encouraged to serve, hit forehands and backhands, and play a variety of tactical games.

Club coach Viv Barber said: "Everyone was really keen and couldn't wait to get on the courts. We were particularly pleased that most of children wanted to come again as we always want more young people playing and enjoying tennis."

For more details about club activities and membership please contact Judy Cannon on 01934 629819.

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