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Cambridge vs Leamington, Pol Roger Trophy, Saturday, December 4th

2nd Doubles and Camera repair:
1st, 2nd & 3rd Singles, 1st Doubles:

plus ClubRoom Cam (no audio), 2nd Doubles, 1st, 2nd Singles and first 8 games of 3rd Singles:

(Leamington complete a 3-2 Brodie/Pol double over CURTC)

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CURTC Student Cup

Group Results

On this particularly cold, wet and windy late November day, spirits were high as eight of us participated in the 2021 Real Tennis Student Cup at Cambridge. The tournament began with two groups facing off on the Blue and Green Courts in a round-robin format. A commanding performance by Lucy Caines (Group B) earned her a spot in the semi-finals, with Alexander Kusztyk (Group B) and Zak Kooros (Group A) advancing as well from the group stage. An unfortunate injury sustained in Group A meant the semi-finals were also played as a round-robin. After three matches filled with exciting rallies, Alexander narrowly prevailed as the tournament champion and Lucy the runner up.

Overall, this tournament was immensely fun and proved a wonderful learning opportunity. At the beginning players scrambled to return every ball, but tactics soon took over as they began to contemplate each chase with care. Lucy hit quite a few screamers that put the ‘fear of God’ in the hearts of her opponents (and perhaps even unstitched a ball or two)! Zak’s excellent serve was a challenge for all who attempted to receive. Also, Jack Ellis and Angus Warburg (both in Group B) put on a fantastic match for those spectating. There were indeed many more notable moments throughout the tournament, but alas, space is limited and it is time for me to end this report.

I would like to express my thanks to all who set up this tournament: especially to Kees Ludekens, Jim Ludekens and Peter Paterson for their helpful tips and markings as well as Victoria Harvey and Ben Geytenbeek for all their support.

Alexander Kusztyk

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CURTC at British Ladies Singles and Doubles Handicaps

The Cambridge ladies at the British Ladies Handicaps didn’t quite sweep the board, but had a good go at it. Mind you, we covered all bases – age range from 16 to 71, and height range from 5’1″ to 5’10” (11″? 12 cubits? Quite tall, anyway).
Four players, all of whom got to the semis, three to the finals, and one as the winner. Unfortunately, two of our players were against each other in their Final, or we might have got another piece of silverware.

Belle Harvey was a Finalist in the Category 2 Singles, but lost out to an Oxford student, while the Category 1 Singles Final was an all-Cambridge affair, with Vix our chairman against Jacqui Sui. This was a great match which went to the line: 5/5 40/40. A clever shot by Jacqui which landed just under the dedans gave her the victory.

Report and photos by Linda Fairbrother
Other person in photos is Katie Leppard, LRTA Chair

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The Inaugural CURTC Doubles Championship…

.. has a winner*!

Congratulations to Smuts Beyers and Nigel Belbin who will be representing CURTC at the Callender Cup at Wellington. Commiserations to the other finalists Tony Kennedy and Camice Revier but, most of all, many thanks to all those who participated. The 2022 CURTC Doubles Championship will be back in January 2022!

*ps We have been promised a match report…

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The 2022 CURTC Tayabali & White Singles Leagues

To play in the 2022 Tayabali & White Singles Leagues, starting mid-January and finishing in June, if you are a CURTC member, please sign up by completing this very short google form.

The scheduling of match days for the various divisions is below and includes the approximate handicap bands for the divisions.

  • Monday – Division 1 ( <35) (Green Court)
  • Tuesday – Division 2 (35 – 50)
  • Wednesday – Division 3 (50 -60)
  • Thursday – Division 4 (60 -70)
  • Friday – Division 5 (70+)


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Cambridge Autumn Doubles Leagues 2021…

…are up and running. Schedule, tables, results MVP and more can be found here and by scrolling down a bit you can find out who pipped Hazard when Wet to the 2020 Tayabali & White Champions League title!

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Fiona Brown

Fiona Brown

It’s with great sadness that we write to tell you that Fiona Brown died on September 26th in the Arthur Rank Hospice. Fiona was a very long-standing member of CURTC, as a player, a supporter, a generous sponsor, and as a member of the committee. For many years she was a wonderfully efficient and hard-working club secretary, tolerant and wise, during crucial phases of the club’s development. She was much loved, admired and appreciated. We extend our deepest sympathy to Nigel.

Peter Raby and George Pearson

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Drum Roll(s), please

The first of our Summer Tournaments has concluded with the CU Alumuni taking the honours (pun intended) over the other place’s Alumni. Full results, notably for another Vix, 7-all, 40-all classic, can be seen by clicking HeRe
Meanwhile the Champagne Leagues have reached their Finals weekend, the draw is hErE including a first Super 6’s round.
Next week is CURTC’s very own Champions League where the Nomads, Hazards, Dedans Dynamos and Motley Crue will battle it out
Then next weekend sees the KO rounds of the Graduate Cup (here)
And meanwhile the inaugural CURTC Handicap Doubles Championship is coming down to the wire.

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The LRTA High/Low tournament hosted by CURTC

Anyone coming into the Club on September 4 or 5th, might have concluded an influx of (mostly) ageing lady tennis players had suddenly overwhelmed CURTC en masse. Not so – the Ladies Real Tennis Association (LRTA) was occupying the Blue Court for a tournament with the intriguing name of The High/Low: nothing to do with high v. low culture, or high v. low stature, but all about handicaps. The best player is paired with the weakest player; the second best with the second weakest, etc, which leads to some intriguing tactics as well as very close matches.

The High/Low is a popular event in the LRTA calendar – the first of the season, and of course this year the first for nearly 18 months. Not only is there the uncertainty of who your partner will be; there is also a lot of tennis played, as every pair plays every other pair over the weekend in matches of first-to-8. Older players conserve their energy (and knees) therefore; while the younger ones scamper around and do the leaping and scooting. Kees says that the format is not fair, as it penalises the best players; but maybe that’s the point – don’t bet your house against who will win, it could be any pair at all…

Local Cambridge players this past weekend included Camice Revier, Rosie Taylor, Jacqui Siu, Linda Fairbrother, Felicity Riddall Bell, and Vix and Bella Harvey (though alas the latter pair had to pull out at short notice when Bella ate a bad mushroom or something). Other players came from Paris (yes, indeed), Seacourt, Hatfield, Radley, Hardwick and so on, so a fair representation of LRTA members.

What was less usual was our youngest contestant – Felicity Riddall Bell, who has just passed her 14th birthday. She was a sensation, in a Little and Large duo (in stature, not weight) playing with Rebecca Kashti from Radley who was the strongest player in the tournament. Felicity may be Little in height, but Large in bravery – jumping, running, volleying and returning with delightful (and effective) enthusiasm.

Such is the maddening and possibly perverse format of the High/Low that the Felicity/Rebecca partnership did not get through to the semi-final knock-out stage, though another local player did. Rosie Taylor, the Belles captain, was in great form, paired with Di Wilson, a steady older player from Winchester. Their pairing showcased Rosie’s terrifying cannon-ball ground strokes, backed up by her partner’s steady safe play, to bring them through to the Finals and overall victory.

A special element of the event was the great support from the team of Kees, Adam and Ben who provided the backbone of a very complicated administration. Ben created a set of matrices that magically re-created themselves when entrants and results turned things topsy-turrvy; and Kees and Adam both went beyond kindness in donating vital marking time.

The usual bonhomie and supportive atmosphere was typical of LRTA events, which range from the British Ladies Open to coaching sessions for juniors held by Claire Fahey, and a very useful range of ladies’ tennis clothes. Our most popular event of the year is the British Ladies Handicap, which caters for singles and doubles, and a wide range of handicaps from 80 to 40ish. If you want to test or improve your handicap, it is a good place to do it. If you want to enjoy good competitive matches, in a fierce but friendly atmosphere, then there’s plenty of that, too.

Why not open the LRTA website ( and have a look at the “Join the LRTA” section which lists some of the benefits of membership and the events that we put on. All ages, all standards and even all genders are welcome. And talk to me if you’d like any more information.

Linda Fairbrother

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A Grand Day Out

CURTC vs RTC, 22/8/21

The first inter club match for a very long time took place on Sunday when some of CURTC’s finest travellers got up bright (well some of us were not too bright, to be honest) and early to visit Henry VIII’ s former digs at Hampton Court.

RTC-6/2-Kate Kirk

On Court Kate ‘MVP’ Kirk (assisted by Jacqui & Tom) spared our blushes by winning her two matches as CURTC suffered from the ‘6 is enough’ syndrome by easing off after winning 6 games in spite of playing sets to 8! Still a great day of tennis on and off Court. Many thanks to Giles and the RTC team for being such excellent hosts and we look forward to welcoming RTC to Cambridge in May next year.

A couple of shots of Bernie & Jacqui vs Simon & Stephen from the nosebleed seats

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2nds Varsity @CURTC, 4/7/21

Cambridge were (more than) generous hosts for this years much delayed Varsity 2nds match against (of course) the Other Place. That it took place at all is the result of the perseverance and due diligence of our Pros, our President Vix and the CU Sports Service, to all of whom many thanks are due.
Jacqui kindly provided the following

With lots of tense third sets, 40-alls, and of course the dreaded bounce dedans & balls that were flush to the wall, Varsity Seconds had an incredible atmosphere (albeit quieter, and socially distant). Many thanks to the Ludekens family for letting us invade their backyard, and Louise for the incredible packed lunches. Special shout out to the freshers and new players who really stepped up and learnt all about this game in the short time we had.

along with some photo highlights. These were taken with a GoPro so some of the perspective looks a little odd but hopefully they give a flavour of what must have been a somewhat unreal day of Real Tennis!

Women 2nds Varsity, 2021, from left, Maddie, Poppy, Cameron & Camice

Men 2nds Varsity, 2021, from left, Charlie, Ben, Ashwin & Oliver


…and Ben saved us from a whitewash!

Women: Cambridge- 0/6 -Oxford, Men: Cambridge- 2/4 -Oxford
Congratulations to the Oxford squads and many thanks for making the trip!

Link to Google Photos Album of the above and many more

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20 Category Tournament

Apologies but camera and cameraman being in need of a recharge meant that Jacqui kindly improvised a couple of shots from the last final on Finals Day. And here they are!

Thanks again to all the finalists along with Peter, Adam & Kees for their organisation and marking.

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40 Category Tournament

Another 8-7 nail biter! This match featured two very contrasting players, underdog Charlie, left-handed, gives the ball a fair old whack and imparts a lot of spin especially on his serve, vs Andrew, a little more measured, great shot placement and never gives up. Andrew had the better of the early stages but got stuck down the Hazard end as Charlie reeled off 3 (might have been 4) straight games en route to a 7-6 lead. Finally Andrew got a chase and managed to calm the frenetic pace a bit to get his side of the scoreboard moving. It is worth watching the final few games on the stream! (Sound is a bit dubious). But if you can’t Andrew edged a classic match 8-7!

Congrats to both players for a  worthy contribution to Finals Day!

Andrew Barker vs Charlie Foreman, 40 Category Final, 26/6/21


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T&RA Category Tournaments

Not had enough Category Tournaments? If  so consider signing up for the T&RA versions. They are in September at various different Clubs (50 at Prested, 30 at Hatfield, the others are a bit further afield).

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Varsity, this Weekend 2-4 July

Friday & Saturday
Firsts at Lord’s
Stream from Lord’s Friday
Stream from Lord’s Saturday

Sunday @Cambridge
Seconds Women
Stream Women’s matches (Blue Ct)
Seconds Men
Stream Men’s matches (Green Ct)
As ever we are very grateful to Pol Roger for their sponsorship and the MCC and T&RA for their support

**Apologies, but players and pros only, no spectators**


09.30  Womens 2nd Singles: Oxford
10.30  Mens 4th Singles: Cambridge
11.30  Mens 3rd Singles: Cambridge
13.00  Womens 1st Singles: Oxford
14.00  Womens 4th Singles: Oxford
1500  Mens 1st Doubles: Oxford
09.30  Womens 2nd Doubles: Oxford
10.30  Mens 2nd Doubles: Cambridge
12.30  Womens 3rd Singles: Oxford
13.30  Womens 1st Doubles: Oxford
14.30  Mens 2nd Singles: Oxford
16.00  Mens 1st Singles: Oxford
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CURTC is grateful for the support of our Sponsors…

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T&RA Calendar

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