Give Real Tennis a Try! 01223 357106 or pros@curtc.net

Free Taster Sessions!

Membership of CURTC is open to all, very much town as well as gown.  We love welcoming new members of any age.  This ancient and intriguing game is fast or slow, tactical, subtle and addictive.  One of our professionals (Kees, Peter and Adam) is usually here 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays or 9 am – 12 noon on Saturdays, they will be happy to explain and encourage.

We offer free taster lessons in small groups usually on Wednesdays.  Just register your interest with the pros, in person, by telephone (01223 357106) or by email (curtcpros@gmail.com).

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The 2022 Inter-University Tournament

IUC victors-Benedict Yorston and Louis Manson (Oxford)


The Annual Inter-University Real Tennis Tournament was a huge success this year thanks to sponsorships from the Dedanists Foundation and Pol Roger. The host (Cambridge University Real Tennis Club, CURTC) welcomed 7 universities from across the country: Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, Middlesex, Oxford, and St. Andrews. All 44 tennis players demonstrated great athleticism and sportsmanship throughout the 3 day-long T&RA event (11th – 13th March). That said, the Middlesex players’ thunderous cheers and support for fellow players were inimitable. Indeed, it was a delightful event that brought many new and experienced tennis players together. The CURTC members also continued the tradition of providing home-baked cakes for players.

During Saturday’s Pol Roger Champagne reception a superb Exhibition match was played between two IiP Professionals: Jim Ludekens (Cambridge) and Jack Josephs (Middlesex). It was a thrilling match which displayed startlingly high-level tennis, captivating the audience, Jim won 8/7. The audience were also presented with homemade canapés by Mrs Ludekens for which the CURTC is most grateful. The Pol Roger Champagne reception was followed by the tournament dinner; attendees included the Cambridge President, Vix Harvey, the Pros from Cambridge and Middlesex, and almost all players. For most students, the night extended to the blissful Cambridge town centre.

The finals were played on the subsequent Sunday morning. The Handicap Singles tournament trophy was raised by Hugo Pennant (Durham) who defeated Igor Sterner (Cambridge), 8-2. Despite Igor’s relentless fight, Hugo played incredibly with great finesse and executed both winning and defensive shots intelligently.

Handicap Singles victor Hugo Pennant (Durham)

Igor Sterner (centre) Handicap singles runner up (Cambridge)

The Inter-University Cup was won by a dominant Oxford team against Cambridge. Cambridge’s Patrick Smart and Aaron Wienkers kept the tension high with powerful winning shots, but Oxford’s Men’s 1st pair, Benedict Yorston and Louis Manson retaliated with astonishing tennis. Benedict’s speed and unimaginable retrieving, and Louis’s natural flair for penetrating volleys and returns startled Cambridge, sealing the final score at 3-0.

IUC runners up, Patrick Smart and Aaron Wienkers (Cambridge)

The CURTC has yet again hosted a fantastic T&RA event, and Ben Geytenbeek’s tireless effort and expertise in devising the draw, with contributions from Vix Harvey and the Cambridge Pros is highly commended. Events like this would not have been possible without the continued generous support from the Dedanists Foundation and Pol Roger. We hope to see even more players in 2023!

Jin Lee

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Finals Day Part 3: Wrap-up

If you have seen enough collages, here is a link to a Google Photos album of the individual photos (and more) which went into the collages above. Please note the photos in the album are organised by time the photo was taken.

PHOTOS LINK

Many thanks to Ben and Jacqui for taking a spell behind the lens!

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Finals Day Part 2: 80+, 40s, 30s

Unlike like the 70s final, youthful experience won the day in the 80+ final as Felicity defeated Marcus, 8-2. Having played against (and lost to) both in the last couple of months I can attest to the trickiness of Marcus’ serve and the quality of Felicity’s ground strokes in an entertaining match.

80+ Final, Marcus Streets vs Felicity Riddall Bell

The same score line featured in the 40s final which I missed but I think the body language captured in the photos sums up the match! Congratulations Aaron!

40s Final, Ben Geytenbeek vs Aaron Wienkers

The 30s final saw the first 6 games shared equally by Andy Smith and Andrew Petrie and a tight finish seemed in the offing. But Andrew went on a 5 game tear as his volleys started to dominate the rallies to give him an 8-3 victory.

30s Final, Andrew Petrie vs Andy Smith

Clicking on the images will reveal a larger clearer version!

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Finals Day 2022 Part 1, 20s, 60s, 70s

We kicked off with the 20s Category Tournament final in bright sunlight (streaming through the windows, I should add) and for just a moment an upset seemed possible as Charlie edged out to a 5-3 lead. But Patrick found another gear (and one particular backhand cross court that had us all gasping in the Dedans) and took the match 8-5.

20s Final, Patrick Smart vs Charlie D’Oyly

While we were looking for the (a?) cup for a (the?) presentation, the 60s finalists, Kate and Smuts wasted no time in going toe to toe with, well, the banter. Clearly no quarter was given or asked at the net..

60s pre match banter

The actual match was no disappointment either as Kate followed up her win at the other place in the Varsity 2nds with an 8-7 victory.

60s Final, Smuts Beyers vs Kate Kirk

The 70s Final found a couple of our members at different ends of the age/experience spectrum. But experience proved the winner as John found a place on the Honours board thanks to a 8-3 win over the ever enthusiastic Alex.

70s Final, Alex Kusztyk vs John Reid

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Finals Day

The first results are in. Congratulations are due to Patrick, Andrew, Aaron, Kate, John and Felicity who will find their names on the Category Tournament Honours Board once we work out where to put them! A gripping Graduate Cup Final went to Alasdair Bovaird who just pipped Michael Firth 8/7 in a hard hitting encounter.  Click on the image and you will be able to read the results! More to come…

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Giraffe Club Cup 2022: Part 2

Congratulations to our Division 1 winners, Aaron Wienkers and Miles Kempton and Division 2 victors Igor Sterner and Ed Pyman. You can see them beaming in part 1 (below).

After the Finals we were treated to a spectacular Exhibition match before our Dinner at Jesus College. Many thanks to the markers and organisers who made the day run so smoothly.

Giraffe Club Cup Exhibition Match and Reception

Giraffe Club Cup Dinner

Click on image for a larger version

For the full results click HERE

For a Google Photos Album of the individual photos in both parts (and a couple more), click HeRe

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Giraffe Club Cup 2022: Part 1

Some Tennis, an Exhibition, Dinner and Pol Roger, what a fantastic day! Congratulations to all the finalists and many thanks for letting us go home after the post-Dinner trip to the Varsity…

GCC Division 2

GCC Division 1

Finals!

Click image for a larger version!

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Giraffe Club Cup: Live!

The Stream team have been busy for the past few weeks and, fingers crossed, there will be live coverage from this Saturday’s (Feb 5th) Giraffe Club Cup from 9am. Stream should be available here https://youtu.be/iC8_-9PMWy8.

Here are some of the highlights from the Giraffe Club Cup stream

Exhibition match: Jamie Giddins and Jamie Douglas vs Ed Kay & Patrick Smart: https://youtu.be/iC8_-9PMWy8?t=32390

Division 1 Final: Ed Hyde & Patrick Smart vs Miles Kempton & Aaron Wienkers: https://youtu.be/iC8_-9PMWy8?t=26476

Division 2 Final: Rosie Taylor & Emily Arbuthnott vs Ed Pyman & Igor Sterner: https://youtu.be/iC8_-9PMWy8?t=29122

and all the results!

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LRTA National School Girls Tournament 15th/16th January 2022

Many thanks to Vix and the LRTA for the report and photos…

This is an exciting time for junior girl’s tennis as seen at the National Schools Tournament held at Wellington last weekend. The standard of play is greatly improving and with the wonderful number of entries from Wellington, entries from the Oratory after just one terms tuition from team Fahey, as well as entries from Cambridge and Bristol, it is very encouraging.

The U15 singles and doubles events were held on Saturday and U19 events on Sunday with group matches leading to knock out stages. In the first U15 singles group Malati Rice (Bristol) went flying through her matches to win the group and Emilia Pitts (Wellington) concentrated well to make sure she won her last match to come through as runner – up. Felicity Riddall Bell (Cambridge) and Clemmie Batstone (Wellington) both served well to come through as winner and runner up of their groups. In the first semi-final Clemmie played Malati. Clemmie settled into the match very quickly with some consistent play and excellent volleys. Malati couldn’t repeat the sparkling play of her group matches and in particular could not produce her earlier tight serving resulting a 6-2 win for Clemmie. The second semi-final saw Felicity v Emilia. This was a very even contest with Felicity returning serve so well and Emilia attacking the ball at every opportunity. Felicity’s consistency just gave her the edge, winning 6–4. The final was a very close affair. Clemmie started off well with some immaculate nick serving to quickly take a 2–0 lead. Felicity raised her game with some stylish backhands, and it was soon 3-3. Clemmie hit some super volleys, but Felicity’s consistency took her to a 6-3 then a 7–4 lead. Clemmie clawed back a couple of games but then Felicity started attacking the return of serves into the corners of the court again and finished off the match with an ace serve, winning 8–6.

In the first doubles semi-final Malati and Jessica played well at the beginning of the match forcing Issy and Emilia to make errors and so take a 3–0 lead. Once the errors were cut out and some super volleying Issy and Emilia took the set 6–3. In the next semi-final Lydia and Charlotte beat Clemmie and Daisy 6–2 with more attacking play. The final, an all-Wellington affair, was probably the best match of the day. Every player attacked the ball, along with hitting some superb volleys; Charlotte and Lydia showing a little more playing experience than Emilia and Issy winning 8–3 and with a fabulous winning cross court shot to the base of the tambour by Lydia.

The U19 girls on Sunday comprised of players from Wellington, Seacourt and Cambridge and it was good to see during the round robin groups just much they had improved. In the first group, Olivia Boulton (Seacourt) romped through her matches and was the clear winner of the group. Lila Hue Williams (Wellington) won 2 of her 3 matches and was runner-up, however, she had to wait until the completion of the next group, to know if she was the best runner-up. The second group was as competitive as the first one with once again one girl, Isabella Harvey (Cambridge) winning all her 3 matches to go through as group winner. The runner-up was Marina Hammond (Wellington) and on count back for games lost, Lila Hue Williams went through as best runner up having lost less games than Marina. In the first semi-final Cesca Sweet (Wellington) played Lila. This was Cesca’s first match of the tournament having had a bye through to the semi-finals. She played very tentatively in the first game and as a result lost it, but it did not take long for her to get into her stride. She took command from the service end and won the next 5 games to win the match 6-1. The second semi-final Isabella played Olivia. The first game went to 40-all one point – Olivia taking it playing a wonderful backhand cross court winner under the grille. This gave her confidence, and she took a 3-0 lead. Isabella took the next game (another 40-all) using her pique serve to great success, but this did not affect Olivia who went on to win the match 6-2. This result didn’t reflect the closeness of the match which included long rallies and excellent serving from both girls. The final proved to be a step too far for Olivia who showed signs of tiredness. Olivia played some strong cross-court forehands, but Cesca was able to retrieve these and make regular winners under the grille and winning gallery. Cesca showed us how well she can cut the ball and deserved to take the match 8-0.

There was just one group to be played in the U19 Doubles. Cesca Sweet and Lilly Redshaw (Wellington) were the group winners with Olivia Boulton and Marina Hammond second and so they played the final. Cesca and Lilly got a strong start and were soon 5-0 up but then Olivia and Marina fought back and won the next 2 games thanks to some great winners into the corners. However, Cesca and Lilly regained control by winning the next game to love, 6-2. There followed some excellent tennis in which Olivia and Marina fought hard, making winners against the tambour and under the grille. Despite this valiant effort though, Cesca and Lilly proved just too strong and went on to win the match 8-5.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend of tennis! Our thanks to Dan, Adam and Alex for marking and to Josh Farrell from The Dedanists’ Foundation for presenting the prizes.

Jill Newby and Alex Garside

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

2nd Doubles and Camera repair: https://youtu.be/Ouof53TJSIE
1st, 2nd & 3rd Singles, 1st Doubles: https://youtu.be/7xgy7N3F19c

plus ClubRoom Cam (no audio), 2nd Doubles, 1st, 2nd Singles and first 8 games of 3rd Singles: https://youtu.be/875qLu2sBgE

(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+)

CURTC Pros

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