Abingdon Open Tournament 2007
An LTA Sanctioned Grade 4 Tournament
The Abingdon Lawn Tennis Club 2007 Open Tournament took place on
the six tarmac courts at ALTC from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th
August. This year there was a larger entry, particularly from
girls. There were also a number of first-time tournament players in
all age groups. In all, there were 186 entries from 120 players in the
16 events for age groups from Under 10 to Under 18.
The two weeks of fine weather before the Tournament gave us hope that this summer's dreadful weather had finally gone away. Sadly, it was just hiding, and the wind and rain came back to torment us throughout the week. Almost all of Tuesday, half of Wednesday and the end of Finals Day were lost to rain. Despite this, over 200 matches (over 3000 games) were completed, and the only lost matches were the u18 boys consolation draw and the last two matches on Finals Day. However, to achieve this, matches after the first day were reduce to two sets plus match tie-break, and extra matches were packed into the dry(ish) days. The organisers would like to thank the competitors for their patience for waiting through the rain and for playing extra matches per day when it was dry. All the extra scheduling work made it a tiring week for the organisers too!
Monday was fine, with the only delays being caused by two long matches. In the under 16 boys singles, the experienced Euan Campbell had what appeared to be an easy draw against first-time competitor, Brendan Gilson. Euan took the first set easily, but Brendan fought back to take the second. The third set was a fascinating duel, with both players having chances to win. Euan finally closed out 7-5 in the final set tie break on his eighth match point! Euan fell at the next round in another very close match (10-6 in the match tie-break) with Tom Capocci, whilst Brendan went on to take the plate with a 10-7 match tie-break win against David Cooper in the plate final. The other long match was the battle of equals between Olivia Horn and Nithya Kadiyala in the under 12 girls singles first round. They had huge rallies, and were still playing an hour after everyone else had gone home. Finally, Olivia won through 7-5, 6-4 in a 2-1/2 hour match! And as the picture shows they were both still smiling at the end!
Tuesday was dismal. Players waited patiently all day for their matches, and only when most had been sent home did the rain stop. In total, four matches were played. We were more fortunate on Wednesday. It rained all day nearby, but ALTC remained dry until 2pm, and by staying late, most of the day's schedule was completed. The most gripping match of the day was the under 14 boys singles between Charlie Lane and Adas Bamforth: their match tie-break had match points either way until Adas finally prevailed 19-17.
This was the first tournament for Precious and Violet Makamure. Precious won a close under 14 girls first round match against Charlotte Deakin, but found the accomplished play of the number 2 seed, Lauren Hill, too much. Violet's path in the under 12 girls singles was blocked by the winner of Monday's marathon match, Olivia Horn. Violet also reached the under 11 girls final, only to be beaten again by Olivia's stylish play. It is a good start for the Makamure sisters. In the under 11 boys singles, Tom Geach justified his seeding. He is not very big yet, but packs a big punch with his racquet. He lost only two games in taking the title.
The under 10 girls singles had a short set format, but the girls ensured that they had their share of court time. Bethany Nagle and Lucy Webster took a set each at 5-3, and played a match tie-break. Felicity Wilkins took the first set from Hebe Brown 5-4(3) and then lost the second set. Instead of a match tie break, they played a third set and ended up on court for two hours! Hebe later lost a close match to Lucy Horbatowski, and Felicity went on to win the plate in a close match with Bethany. The final was a battle of the Lucy's, with Lucy Horbatowski taking the title from Lucy Webster
High quality tennis was played in many closely fought contests during the week, and despite the weather, the finals of all 16 tournaments and 9 plate events were reached by the end of Friday. On Finals Day, we had the services of six match officials to chair umpire and line judge the finals matches. Three girls stood out by reaching the singles finals in their own age group and the one above. Olivia Horn was the under 11 girls winner, and lost the under 12 girls final to excellent play from Leanne Fletcher. Laura Hill won the under 14 girls singles, and was narrowly defeated in the under 16 girls final. Samantha Howse was on fire all week, and played some outstanding tennis to take both the under 16 and under 18 girls titles. Nathan Church and Robert Little reached both the under 16 and under 18 boys finals. Robert looked like he was going to successfully defend his 2006 under 18 boys title, but determined play from Nathan first levelled the match by taking the second set tie break, and then won it by taking the last five points of the match tie break to win it 10-6. Nathan had an easier victory later in the under 16 boys singles, where his drop shots proved very effective in the wet conditions.
Rain stopped play on Finals day with three matches to be completed. Isobel Lloyd had been on the point of victory in the under 12 girls plate for nearly half an hour, but Violet Makamure doggedly pulled back the second set from 4-1 to 5-5 when rain stopped play. In the under 16 boys singles final, Aaron Macdonald took the first set 6-4 and trailed 0-2 in the second to Ed Monbiot. The under 14 girls doubles had just started. At this point, the Deputy Mayor, Patrick Lonergan, accompanied by Councillor Angela Lawrence, braved the rain to present the trophies to the Finalists.
Not everyone gave in to the rain. The under 14 girls doubles finalists, Pip Rowe & Molly Geach, and Sarah Bowen & Lucy Ingram, were made of sterner stuff than the under 16 boys. They insisted on finishing their doubles match in the driving rain, even though the match umpires had abandoned play and taken shelter. The Deputy Mayor stayed on to give them their own special presentation at the end!
The ALTC committee extends its thanks to the parents and club members who kindly helped with the day to day running of the tournament. The Club extends its congratulations to all players for their good tempered but competitive play, and invite them to enter the Abingdon Open 2008 in August 2008!
to the left are three items of lost property that were found after the
tournament. If you think they are yours, please contact Jim by
telephone on 07879-881282 or by email at