Abingdon Open Tournament 2005
The Abingdon Lawn Tennis Club 2005 Open Tournament took place from Sunday 14th to Saturday 20th August. It was blessed with fine weather all week, apart from a couple of hours on Friday morning. The first day was the Preston Bowl competition for mixed adult pairs, and the rest of the week was taken up with Junior and the Family doubles competitions. There was a slightly larger junior field than last year, with 150 entrants in 15 competitions, plus entry into four extra consolation draws for first round losers.
Julia Freeman returned as Tournament Referee this year, and again managed the whole event admirably. Despite the fine weather she had some difficulty keeping matches on schedule because of the large number of long matches. However, by the end of Friday, the Family doubles had been completed and all the finalists had been decided ready for the Finals Day on Saturday 20th August.
Julia Freeman was joined by six assistants who acted as umpires and line judges for the Finals. In addition, the club was pleased and honoured to welcome the Abingdon Mayor, Alison Rooke, and her husband as guests of honour on the Finals Day. The Mayor enjoyed watching the play, and expressed her admiration for the competitive but sportsmanlike behaviour of the boys and girls taking part. ALTC thank her for helping to make Finals Day special for the competitors by officiating at the Prize-giving ceremony.
Pictured at the top left hand side of this page are the Club Chairman, Linda Boston, the Tournament Referee, Julia Freeman, the under 14 and under 16 girls champion, Ciara Kelly and the Abingdon Mayor, Alison Rooke.
The marathon man for long matches was Matthew Morrow. He beat Edward James in a close fought first round match in the Under 12 Boys Singles. In the second round he had a three hour three set battle with Lawrence Best, and was finally defeated in another three set match with the eventual winner of the Under 12 Boys Singles, Sam Murrell. Matthew's younger brother, Christopher, made much shorter work of winning the Under 9 Boys Singles.
Sebastian Rey convincingly won the Under 10 Boys Singles, dropping no more than two games in any of his sets. In the Under 14 Boys Singles, George Mowles dominated the Finals, but both he and his opponent, Chris Rogers, had had to win close three set encounters to get to the Final.
Jack Rooney deserves special mention. He was by far the most successful boy. He showed great skill and stamina, and was on court for most of Finals Day! He convincingly won the Under 16 Boys Singles. He won the Under 18 Boys Singles after a high quality and thrilling three set match against Arkadiy Izrailev, reversing the result of their previous encounter in the Oxfordshire Open. He followed this with another three set victory with his partner Alex Lim in the Under 18 Boys Doubles final. In addition to all this, he had already won the Family Doubles partnering his father.
The girls competitions also had examples of some dominant performance and some close matches. Joely Bennet won the Under 10 Girls Singles without dropping a single game. Viveca Valimaa was similarly dominant in the Under 12 Girls Singles. She played stylish and mature tennis to get to the final without dropping a game, and lost only one game in a straight sets victory over Pip Rowe in the Final. Viveca also reached the semi-final of the Under 14 Girls Singles.
Ciara Kelly played some fine tennis. She won a close first set of the Under 14 Girls Singles final on a tie breaker, and then completed her victory over Kathryn Sharples taking the second set 6-4. Ciara followed up this success by winning in straight sets the Under 16 Girls Singles against last year's Under 12 champion, Stephanie Prew. Kathryn had some consolation winning the Under 14 Girls Doubles with her partner, Joanna Haywood-Cook.
Final's Day was rounded-off by the Mayor, Alison Rooke, and Club Chairman, Linda Boston, presenting prizes to the winners and runners-up. The club was pleased to welcome representatives of two of the Sponsors; Grant Shergold from racketsdirect and James Eastwood from Vector Fields.
Abingdon Lawn Tennis Club extend its thanks to all the competitors and helpers who made the event so rewarding, and looks forward to seeing all this year's and many new competitors coming to Abingdon in August next year to join them for the ALTC Open 2006 Tournament! It also thanks to the referee, Julia Freeman, for so ably managing the running of the event. Thanks also to the parents and club members who kindly helped with the day to day running of the tournament, and to the sponsors whose support has been important in making the tournament a success.