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150 Years of Play Celebration

P1000782The Green Court is 150 years young this year. We are celebrating April 14-16th, 2016. Please mark your calendars if you haven’t already done so. More details coming (very) soon…
APOLOGIES for the delay. There have been several (very) exciting developments over the last few days which we can’t wait to tell you about….. Meanwhile here are a few PHOTOS

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Sign up for Club Fixtures, Category Tournaments..

Sign up sheets for 2016 Club fixtures and Category Tournaments HERE and on the Club Notice Board.

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2016 Graduate Cup

Sign-Up by February 19th on the Club Noticeboard (or e-mail our fantastic pros)

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60+ gets 2016 Category Tournaments underway

Getting the 2016 Category tournaments underway...

Getting the 2016 Category tournaments underway…

Gordon Chancellor and Nigel Peake take the court on Saturday, February 6th as the 2016 Category tournaments start. Keeler Mears won the qualifying group on Saturday to join Sunday’s quest for a place in the final on March 12th (CURTC’s Finals day, sponsored by Hannay Robertson Financial Planning) and a slot on the CURTC Honours Boards.
Keeler Mears & Hugh Markus

Keeler Mears & Hugh Markus

On the Green (150 year young) court, David Hope, Jim Ludekens and Vix Harvey were joined by Paul Forster in their side of the quest…
David Hope, Jim Ludekens & Vix Harvey

David Hope, Jim Ludekens & Vix Harvey

Paul Forster

Paul Forster

In the semi-finals, Hugh Markus beat David Hope 6-2 and Richard Bowers beat Vix Harvey 6-2. Congratulations Richard and Hugh, we will see you on March 12th….

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Retro crockery fans, now’s your chance!

We’re planning on upgrading to crockery 2.0 in the club room, but what to do with all these old favourites? Any fans of retro crockery are welcome to collect a souvenir or two from the two tubs of rejected – sorry, previously loved – crocks and assorted stray tupperware which are under the table by the dishwasher.  Anything left by Sunday Feb 7th will be removed and disposed of.Crocks

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Not the Result We Were Hoping For…

…but some high quality tennis (and lunch, many thanks to Sue & Duncan) was enjoyed by a full Dedans & Club Room in a great atmosphere as CURTC agonizingly fell short 2-3 against the MCC in the Pol Roger Trophy Semi-Final.

CURTC vs MCC, 31 Jan, 2016

CURTC vs MCC, 31 Jan, 2016

  • 2nd Doubles: Matt Shaw & Freddie Kalfayan lost to James Acheson-Gray & Alexis Hombrecher 6/5 2/6 2/6
  • 1st Singles: Ed Kay bt William Maltby 6/2 6/3
  • 2nd Singles: Jamie Giddins bt Dave Harms 6/2 6/0
  • 3rd Singles: Alex Evans lost to Horatio Cary 6/5 3/6 2/6
  • 1st Doubles: Duncan Colquhoun & Jules Camp lost to Mark Mathias & Neil Roxburgh 4/6 2/6

p.s. Congratulations to our National League Division 7 squad who triumphed 2-1 against RTC to solidify their hold on 4th place, only 5 points behind the leaders Hatfield with a game in hand.

Oh, you may ask, are there any photos? Thanks for asking, it just so happens there are (quite) a few available HERE

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60+ Category Tournament, 6/7 February

60plus mk4 Is there ‘Hope’ for anyone else? Can anybody stop David Hope achieving a three-fer? All starts at 11am on Saturday. Good luck to all…..

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Congratulations, Linda and Venetia…

…who are the finalists in the 2016 CURTC Ladies Championship. The final will be held on Finals Day (sponsored by Hannay Robertson Financial Planning), March 12th.

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Pol Roger Trophy (vs MCC) on Sunday (January 31st)

pol_logoSome excellent tennis is in store for this coming Sunday as MCC (including possibly 3 ex-Cambridge Captains) visit in the Pol Roger Trophy. CURTC will be represented by some of it’s top players so there will be more than just a place in the Semi-Finals at stake. It all starts at 11am (unless you count the warm-up act, the ‘Hang-over Doubles Crew’ who will be doing their stuff at 9:30am).
We’ve persuaded our crack CURTC catering team to include a few extra lunches for CURTC members at the usual inter Club match rate. There are a few places left so sign-up if you want some lunch while cheering on the good guys of CURTC….

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The Busy Time of Year is Upon Us

In no particular order, we have with links (blue text) to sign-up sheets….

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CURTC vs HHTC, January 10th, 2016

Basking in the glow of a well earned victory....

Basking in the glow of a well earned victory…

CURTC took a couple of trips down the A1 over the weekend to play at Hatfield House. On the Sunday it was the turn of the Club Team. We were welcomed by their Pro James Law and Chair/Fixtures person, Steve Brewerton who was doing the catering but not playing…. Our team struggled valiantly (3 matches were lost in the third set, including 2 by a score of 6-5) but alas only Guy Kirk and David Hope got over the line before their opponents. As a result, CURTC came out second best by a score of 1-4 in HHTC’s favour. Nonetheless some great tennis was enjoyed on Hatfield’s splendid court and hopefully we will do better on our Home ‘turf’ next year! Yes, there are Photos…

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Ed and Jamie conquer the world (….of under 24 real tennis players)

u24DoublesLast weekend Ed Kay and Jamie Giddins won the under 24 open doubles at Middlesex University, beating Leon Smart and Neil Mackenzie 6-3 6-3. Having previously struggled past dangerous fresher Matt Shaw and his partner Rob Shenkman 6-3 0-6 6-1 in the semis, they produced an imperious performance to add their names to a trophy previously won by legends such as Fahey & Wood and Sayers & Riviere.

In the singles Ed Kay narrowly lost in the final to Boston pro Leon Smart 6-4 6-5.

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Comrade Weller Proves Unstoppable

Sasha Borodin presents Gary Weller with the Consumables

Sasha Borodin presents Gary Weller with the Consumables

CURTC’s 2016 Russian Christmas Tournament was played with an even more devious combination of matches of various formats which the organizer had come up with in attempt to overcome some fairly obvious problems with the first version. While undoubtedly devious it would require a (not really that) fiendish algorithm to determine the winner unless someone (but only one someone) won all the matches they played. Fortunately, Gary Weller was on supreme form and proved to be that ‘one someone’ winning his four Singles and two Doubles. Joint Runners-up, Rich Wainwright and Michael Firth were close but both ended-up 4 games short of their maximum.

Many thanks to Scott and Peter for handicapping and, particularly Peter for his Trophy arrangement. Frankly it was pretty exhausting but all 9 of us made it through to the end fortified by fish pie and chocolate cake. So, Congratulations, Gary, and many thanks for saving me from having to explain how the results would have had to be adjusted if you had not been such a clear winner!

Survivors of the Russian Campaign: James T, Christie M, Michael F, Champion Gary, Rich W, Sasha B and Julian S

Survivors of the Russian Campaign: James T, Christie M, Micael F, Champion Gary, Rich W, Sasha B & Julian S

More Photos

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2015 CURTC Christmas Tournament

2015 Xmas Finalists: Rich, Karen, Richard, Hugh, Robin, Guy

2015 Xmas Finalists: Rich, Karen, Richard, Hugh, Robin, Guy

The 6 Group Winners in this year’s draw of 18 players were required to play a total of six hours of tennis to determine who would be crowned 2015 Champion. Excellent performances in their Singles matches by Robert Doe and Jim Ludekens were not enough to get them through to the finals, as doubles results also play an important part in this popular event.

Peter and Rich Wainwright, 2015 CURTC Xmas Champ

Peter and Rich Wainwright, 2015 CURTC Xmas Champ

The Finalists; Karen Pearce, Guy Kirk (scoring maximum points in the group stage), Robin Faux, Rich Wainwright, Hugh Markus and Richard Dunn (replacing Rupert Grose) were provided with much needed sustenance by Linda’s cakes and Rich’s biscuits. Robin (Grad Cup Champ) and Guy led after the singles, winning both their matches, but again it was the “complete player”, Rich Wainwright, producing excellent doubles performances too (ably partnered by Karen), who came though.
The Pros were thanked by the players for their contribution to another fun event at CURTC.

More to come…. Here, for example

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Russian Christmas Tournament

Update: 9:30am Start… Schedule Shortly

russian_xmas_dollQuestion: What’s better than one Christmas? Answer: Two!
So on Saturday, January 9th we are going to celebrate Russian Christmas with its very own Tournament. We promise it will be fun and it will be different…. Before January 7th, Click to Sign-up

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CURTC @Prested Hall

CURTC @Prested 13/12/15

CURTC @Prested 13/12/15

As promised….Click for a short video and more Photos

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CURTC vs BBRTC, 12 December 2015

CURTC, 12/12/15

CURTC, 12/12/15

Some familiar faces were on Court on December 12th as the Blue Ball RTC just edged CURTC’s finest, 6-5 in the 3rd set of the deciding rubber as Guy Kirk and Linda Fairbrother outlasted Venetia D’Arcy and Karen Pearce (CURTC) in a classic match. Read More

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Pol Roger Trophy: CURTC vs MCC, Sunday, January 31st 2016

Diary marking time! It looks like the MCC may be including 3 former Cambridge Captains* in their squad for their next round of the Pol Roger Trophy here in Cambridge. It should be a ‘Cracking Match, Grommet’ type of encounter. We are also looking into some extra catering. Sign-up if you are interested…. and we will get back to you.
*Alexis Hombrecher has confirmed, Neil Roxburgh and Jamie Douglas played in the MCC’s victory over Seacourt.

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2015 Xmas Tournament, Tuesday December 29th

Sign-up, Sign-up…..Sign-Up, Sign-up…. by December 27th!

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Congratulations, Ed, Winner of the Renny Cup

Ed Hyde is the winner of this year’s Renny Cup at the National Schools Rackets Championships at Queens. Results and photos (scroll down past the Foster Cup winner who has a familiar looking name)

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Brodie Cup Update

Prested is a tricky place to play at best and some of the lights are out at the moment. We were playing on the gloomier of the two Courts and believe me the difference is not subtle! Cambridge did not get a good start and lost the first two rubbers and were a set down in the third when Ross Smythe gradually found his inner karma and the base of the Tambour. Finally, Cambridge had won a set and then a rubber to get back to 1-2. Next up was James ‘skipper’ Thomas who found himself one set and 4-2 down against an opponent who had an unerring accuracy for the Grille (James lost one game to three straight Grille shots. The fourth hit the edge of the Grille….). James dug deep and found his inner Ross, clinched the second set 6-5 and third set in an epic match to draw us level at 2-2. This set up yours truly in the 45 Doubles pairing as the decider….. Alas, the comeback was left incomplete as Prested’s ‘unconventional’ (their Pro’s description, not mine) pair clinched the match in no uncertain manner.

Many thanks to the Pros and the other members of the Brodie squad for their help in getting us prepared and to Keith for coming to support us. Next year!!


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Pol Roger trophy Oxford vs Cambridge update

Cambridge vs Oxford in the first round of the Pol Roger trophy. Happily already through to the 2nd round after three of five matches:

Mike Henman/Stewart Licudi (Ox) vs Duncan Colquhoun/Andrew Petrie (Cam) 2-6 1-6

Rob Walker (Ox) vs Ed Kay (Cam) 0-6 3-6

Jonny Whitaker (Ox) vs Alex Evans (Cam) 3-6 1-6

Geoff Baker (Ox) vs Freddie Kalfayan (Cam) 3-6 1-6

Ben Graves/Andrew Clake (Ox) vs Jules Camp/Matt Shaw (Cam) 1-6 3-6

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We’re off to Prested and Oxford…

Good luck to the Brodie Cup Team who travel to Prested and the Pol Roger squad who are off to Oxford on Sunday.. Two tough matches in prospect!

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10 Things you might not know about the Green Court

  1. At the time of construction (1866) there were two other tennis courts in use in Cambridge. Wellington Court (aka East Road Court, Parker’s Piece Court or the Phillips’ Court) situated on East Rd where Wellington House now stands; and Pembroke College court on, of course, Tennis Court Rd.
  2. The Green court used to be white! It was painted at the time the blue court was converted into squash courts (1933). The balls were covered in red or orange felt. Normal service was resumed in 1960.
  3. The first match was played in October 1866, the protagonists are unknown.
  4. Matches could only be played in natural daylight until electric lighting was installed in 1932.
  5. An Eton Fives court butted up to the north wall – the outline of which can still be seen from the car park.
  6. When first built the club stood at the termination of Grange Road. The through route to Madingley Rd was only completed in 1910.
  7. Funding for the construction of the tennis court and professional’s house was by private subscription from eight fellows of Clare and Trinity along with the Master of Clare. The building cost was £2,887.
  8. The buildings were designed by Yorkshireman William Milner Fawcett (1832-1908), an alumnus of Jesus College. His secondary claim to architectural fame is the (Old) Cavendish Laboratory on Free School Lane.
  9. The original floor was laid with flagstones from Caen. It had to be re-laid in 1931/32 following damage from pile driving for the new University Library. However the flagstones alongside the court are the original ones, dating from 1866.
  10. In December 2104 our courts and attached pro’s house were awarded a Grade II listing for, amongst other things, being imposing but elegant recreation buildings constructed in high quality materials and exhibiting craftsmanship; and for the survival of the original layout of the 1866 court. So there.

from Gerald Smith

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150 Years of Play: Noted (early) Cambridge Real Tennis Players #2

Vane Hungerford Pennell (August 16, 1876 – June 17, 1938)

Vane Hungerford Pennell (August 16, 1876 – June 17, 1938)

Spotted in Wikipedia…Vane Pennell was educated at Eton, Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge. However, on going up to Trinity College, Cambridge Pennell failed to find a place in the University racquets team and began to take more interest in the game of Real Tennis. Although he was undoubtedly one of the outstanding players of court games of his generation, Vane Pennell only made occasional appearances in the championship events. His appearances in the Real Tennis championships were spasmodic and he only entered for the singles nine times in the twenty-year period up to 1923. He was, however, a finalist seven times and won the title in 1904. Read More

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150 Years of Play: Noted (early) Cambridge Real Tennis Players

Eustace-MilesEustace Hamilton Miles was born in 1868. He went to Heath Mount school (near Whitestone Pond) and Marlborough College followed by Kings College Cambridge in 1887. At Cambridge he began his distinguished career in racquets and real tennis, playing against Oxford. Eustace won an amazing number of English and world titles, including a silver medal at the 1908 Olympics in real tennis. Read More

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150 Years of Play Celebration, April 14-16, 2016

150 Years GC
Yes the Green Court is having a (big) Birthday…
More at

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Inter-Universities Tournament Report

A large entry in the two draws (the Inter-Uni Cup and the Handicap Singles) made this years Pol Roger Inter-Uni Event another great success.  Players from Cambridge (C) were joined by representatives from Middlesex (M), Newcastle (N), Exeter (E), Bristol and Durham over four days of intense but very good natured competition.

In the first semi-final of the Inter-uni cup Cambridge 2 played Exeter in what was probably the best contest of this tournament. Home heroes Matt ‘tonsils’ Shaw (25.7) and Jimmy ‘5.18am’ Campbell (27.2) faced Ben Boddington (13.7) and Tom Larminie (54.6). The two singles matches went with handicap and left the rubber to be decided by the doubles. After trading games for the first half of the match, Matt Shaw found some good serves (after much urging by his partner) and clinical volleys to compliment the increasingly solid back court play of Campbell. Cambridge completing the win to set up a repeat of last year’s all Cambridge final against CURTC 1 (Ed Kay, Jamie ‘who?’ Giddins and Alex Evans) who had already cruised through their previous rounds to reach the final themselves.

The final got under way with a clash of the men’s and women’s captains Alex ‘jet lag’ Evans (13.7) and Sophie ‘Osprey of the year’ Morrill (46.1) and was continued with Ed ‘thanks for coming’ Kay (4.1) vs Jimmy C, both ties going as expected to CURTC 1. Playing for pride, Matt Shaw returned from playing Fives to partner Jimmy in the doubles. Despite Jimmy’s cunning plan to put the opposition off with looping lob dedans forces, the 1st team pair were triumphant.

Sophie and Alex E before final 2nd string singles (captains' face off)

Sophie and Alex E before final 2nd string singles (captains’ face off)

Ed and Jimmy before final 1st string singles

Ed and Jimmy before final 1st string singles

Jimmy and Matt

Jimmy and Matt

Alex E and Ed are presented with the cup

Alex E and Ed are presented with the cup

In this year’s Handicap Singles Tournament Carley Williams (M), Keeler Mears (C), Vix Harvey (C), Max Vasey (N), Abilash Chauhan (M) and Alexander Mansfield (E) comprised the fine crop of talented newcomers who progressed to the knock-out stage of the tournament. They were joined by seasoned campaigners Nick Worsnop (C), Tom Larminie (E), Amanda Murphy (C), Tufan Dirik (M), Venetia D’Arcy (C) and Hugh Vermont (N) who had all made considerable improvements to their playing standard since last December. Cambridge players, Nick Worsnop and Venetia D’Arcy were eliminated in the semi finals by Abilash Chauhan and Alexander Mansfield.

During the final contested between Abi (61.2) and Alex (58.0) it quickly became clear that both players were far better than they’re handicaps. The ‘battle of the bandits’ provided great entertainment to the assembled spectators, partisan and impartial alike. One particular shot from Alex led British Open veteran Ed Kay to remark ‘that’s literally the best volley I’ve ever seen!’. The standard and length of rallies confirmed to the large crowd that these were two players who would quickly move down the rankings. Alex’s experience and left-handed railroad proved too much for Abi, who only started playing this term, leaving Exeter in a good mood for they’re trip back home.

Abilash presented with runner up chablis

Abilash presented with runner up chablis

Alex M. presented with the winners champagne

Alex M. presented with the winners champagne

Abilash and Alex M.

Abilash and Alex M.

Thanks go to the club professionals for organising the event, Pol Roger for they’re unerring liquid sponsorship, Sue Ecob for preparing excellent food for the Saturday evening dinner and George Pearson for presenting the prizes at the end of the tournament. Most of all, Cambridge extends sincere gratitude to the large number of students that travelled from all parts of the country to take part and make the tournament such a good natured and enjoyable event.

Survivors photo from a great weekend

Survivors photo from a great weekend

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Pop-up Fixture: CURTC vs BBRTC, Saturday, December 12th

CURTC has been ‘challenged’ both on and off court by the Blue Ball in Grantchester (that’s the BB in BBRTC) on Saturday, December 12th it all starts at 11am @CURTC and will end much (much) later at the Blue Ball. CURTC needs some players in their 70’s, 60’s and 40’s, and even 50’s. Please Sign up or at the Club.

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Every Tournament Needs a Dinner…

Sue Ecob, Hugh Vermont and Nick Green (Newcastle)

Sue Ecob, Hugh Vermont and Nick Green (Newcastle)

…and the Inter-universities Tournament was no exception. Our undercover reporter has smuggled out the following footage which, I should warn you, has sound attached…
BTW, the Newcastle University Real Tennis Club is thriving has an excellent Facebook page (hint, hint) which has a video clip from the Tournament (including, I think Sophie and Jimmy ‘the Beard’)

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Inter-Universities Tournament, 27-29th November

Kees has given me the low-down on this weekend’s tournament. Most (if not all) of the Varsity squads will be playing including Ed, Jamie, Alex and Freddie and not forgetting Sophie. Sponsored by Pol Roger, there is an handicap Singles tournament and the Inter-Universities Cup featuring teams from Cambridge, Durham, Middlesex, Exeter, Bristol and Newcastle.

In the Cup, each match comprises two Singles and one Doubles (like the National League, Division 1) and climaxes with the Semis ~10:30am on Sunday followed by the Final at 1:30pm. There may well be a Cambridge vs Cambridge Final again this year although there are some other low handicap players (e.g. Ben Boddington, 13) participating. All support would be most welcome!

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