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2016 Pol Roger Inter-University Tournament

The 2016 Pol Roger Inter-University Tournament saw a gathering of Men’s and Women’s student real tennis players from across the country at the Cambridge University Real Tennis Club (the home of Real Tennis at Grange  Road) and, for those brave enough to venture there, the Newmarket and Suffolk Real Tennis Club.

Representatives were present from St Andrews to Exeter University including a lone wolf from Oxford. There were early (and in some cases, very painful) starts at Newmarket, rumours of a winning gallery competition within the Middlesex camp, too many photos to count and some splendid tennis played across four days.

The Handicap singles saw 61 students take to the court and Cambridge’s Keeler Mears, Amanda Murphy and Matt Shaw topped their groups and made it into the round of sixteen. Precision and killer spin then took Matt Shaw into the Handicap Singles Semi-Final where he played splendidly to beat Charlie Drew 6-1. The other Semi-Final saw an all Durham affair, where Oliver Taylor (a.k.a. Bandit 1) took on Matt Brooks (a.k.a. Bandit 2). Taylor came out on top 6-4, and nobody was left in any doubt that both of these players would have much lower handicaps come next year! In the final, Taylor defeated Shaw 8-3 playing a handicap difference of 35, highlights of which can be found on the “CURTC Fixtures” YouTube channel!

Charlie Drew (Durham)-Semifinalist Oliver Taylor (Durham) - Champion, Matt Shaw (Cambridge) - Finalist, Matt Brooks (Durham) - Semifinalist

Semi-Finalists from left, Charlie Drew (Durham)-
Oliver Taylor (Durham) – Champion, Matt Shaw (Cambridge) – Matt Brooks (Durham)

The Pol Roger Champagne Reception and Dinner was a great event, held at the nearby Robinson College. Pol Roger Champagne and a three course dinner was enjoyed by all. Some of the more serious athletes continued the festivities in one of the local ‘training’ establishments, meaning there were some sore muscles (heads) for finals day.

The Pol Roger Inter-University Cup saw teams from Durham, Exeter, Middlesex,  Newcastle, St Andrews, London and Birmingham and Cambridge (including the Cambridge women’s team) battle it out in both singles and doubles. Both the first and second CURTC teams made it through to the Semi-Finals beating teams from Newcastle, St Andrews, Durham and Exeter. Despite the attempts of Jimmy Campbell to provide an epic Saturday night for the London and Birmingham (HS2) team, Robert Shenkman and Charlie Braham arrived at the courts on Sunday and had the measure of the second CURTC team in the Semi-Final, defeating Campbell and Shaw three matches to love.

The final was streamed live (and can also be found on the CURTC Fixtures YouTube channel) where the HS2 duo took on the Cambridge first team of Kay and Giddins. Kay took the first rubber 8-7, saving match points along the way, against Braham, while Shenkman continued his good form against Giddins winning 8-5. The doubles deciding rubber provided tennis of the highest quality, team HS2 fighting back from 7-5 down to take the match 8-7 and the trophy.

Rob Shenkman & Charlie Braham

Inter University Cup Winners – Team HS2 Rob Shenkman & Charlie Braham

The weekend was enjoyed immensely by all that attended, and thanks must go to all of the pros for organising one of the biggest tournaments in Real Tennis.


Over 70 people attended the Pol Roger Dinner at Robinson College

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Cambridge vs MCC, Pol Roger Trophy, Sunday, December 11th @10:30am

The next outing for the stream team! If you can’t make it to the Club to support the our Pol Roger squad, follow along from the comfort of your own armchair/desk/bed or wherever you happen to be….

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Inter-Uni Wrap-up, part 2

Congratulations to Team HS2, Rob Shenkman, Birmingham & Charlie Braham, London, Winners of the 2016 Inter-Universities Cup. Rob & Charlie won the deciding Doubles 8-7, saving a match point along the way.

Rob Shenkman & Charlie Braham

Rob Shenkman & Charlie Braham

CURTC President, George Pearson offers some ‘Congratulations and Thanks’ following the Final.
More from Freddy Adam/T&RA

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A Grand Finale

Congratulations to all the participants in this weekend’s Inter-Universities Tournament. It was truly great to see such enthusiasm on (and off) court…
The Finals of the Handicap and Team Cup are available via Youtube.
Meanwhile here are the worthy finalists of the Handicap Tournament

Charlie Drew (Durham) - Semifinalist Oliver Taylor (Durham) - Champion, Matt Shaw (Cambridge) - Finalist, Matt Brooks (Durham) - Semifinalist

from left, Charlie Drew (Durham) – Semifinalist, Oliver Taylor (Durham) – Champion, Matt Shaw (Cambridge) – Finalist, Matt Brooks (Durham) – Semifinalist

Semi 1: Shaw def Drew (6-3)
Semi 2: Taylor def Brooks (6-4)
Final: Taylor def Shaw (8-3)

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Inter-Universities Tournament, Finals

We are taking a short break and will be back for the Inter-Uni Cup Final at 2pm
Ed Kay (Cambridge) vs Charlie Braham (London: HS2 Uni)
Jamie/Alex (Cambridge) vs Rob Shenkman (Birmingham: HS2 Uni)
then Doubles!

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Cambridge vs Leamington, Live Stream with Commentary


Video from last night…



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CURTC joins the Instagram revolution

CURTC is fast becoming a new world leader of social media. Follow our latest venture on Instagram @cambridgerealtennis. The competitors for this year’s InterUniversity Tournament have been invited to participate in a photo competition to win a bottle of Pol Roger Reserve Brut so our feed should be on fire by the weekend!

If you download the Instagram app on your mobile you too will be able to play with the filters and post your best photos to our account. Get practicing and keep an eye out for our Club competitions.


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InterUniversity Event 2016: Win a bottle of Pol Roger Brut Reserve

o Champagne Pol Roger would like to invite all competitors of the Inter University Real Tennis tournament to submit their best photo of the tournament, and whomever uploads the best image (as decided by James Simpson MW, Managing Director of Pol Roger Portfolio) will win a bottle of Pol Roger Brut Reserve.

o All photos must be uploaded to either Twitter or Instagram, or both, using the handle @Pol_Roger  and the hashtag #InterUnivRealTennis. Please also tag the Twitter handle @cam_tennis and the instagram account cambridgerealtennis

o The subject matter is open to interpretation, ranging from shots of the team, action shots of the players, artistic shots of Pol Roger bottles, images of the real tennis court; the winning image will be judged on the composition of the image and how well it is deemed to capture the spirit of the tournament.

o The competition is only open to adults, over the age of 18; this is to be verified by Kees Ludekens when awarding the prize

o Kees will present the winner with their bottle of Pol Roger Brut Reserve at the Pol Roger champagne reception and dinner on Saturday evening.

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Cambridge vs Leamington, National League

eliteleague14th-novCambridge take on Leamington in the top division of national league this Thursday, 5.30pm start. First up Jamie Giddins (10) will be taking on Robert Shenkman (7), where Jamie will look to get revenge for his three set loss in last years final. Next up Ed Kay (1) will take on world number 6 5 Ben Matthews (+6). We are privileged to be able to watch a player of Ben’s calibre at Cambridge, and I hope that as many people as possible will make it down to the club to watch one of the worlds best.

Ed Kay

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Busy Week ahead

  • The Brodie squad are off to Seacourt on Sunday so please drop in if you are passing…
  • Ed & Jamie are back in action on Thursday evening against Leamington featuring World number 6, Ben Taylor-Matthews, and ace commentator Rob Shenkman. We will be streaming the matches live but please drop by the Club if you possibly can.
  • The inter-universities tournament runs from Thursday through Sunday. It is bigger and better than ever this year!
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Ed vs Camden

4pm this afternoon, Wednesday 16th November

links to all matches and live stream:

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Bristol come to town

I wasn’t playing in the game on Sunday so I was able to focus (pun intended) on the tennis. Apologies to Karen, Andy & Sam but I never made it to the Green Court being totally absorbed by a classic tussle between John Beale from Bristol and our very own Charlie D’Oyly. Some great tennis!
John & Charlie were then joined (respectively) by Reggie Williams & Julain Stafford for some Doubles. It was a and a fascinating game with a great contrast of styles, not to mention facial expressions…

John Beale, Bristol
Charlie D'Oyly, Cambridge
John Beale, Bristol
Charlie D'Oyly, Cambridge
John Beale, Bristol
Charlie D'Oyly, Cambridge
John Beale, Bristol
Charlie D'Oyly, Cambridge
John Beale, Bristol
Charlie D'Oyly, Cambridge
John Beale, Bristol
I hate this game....
Julian Stafford & Charlie D'Oyly, Cambridge
Reggie Williams & John Beale, Bristol
Julian Stafford & Charlie D'Oyly, Cambridge
Julian Stafford, Cambridge
Reggie Williams & John Beale, Bristol
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image

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Oxford get one back


Oxford, 4 – 2, Cambridge

An excellent afternoon of tennis on Saturday saw the ol’ enemy esteemed rivals put Cambridge on the wrong end of a 4-2 result. Honourable mentions go to Kate Kirk and Gerald Smith for winning their Singles matches to make it some kind of contest! And it all started so well with Gerald’s victory on the Blue Court but Johnathan Clark turned it on for the Doubles and Chris Peri covered the Court through a degree of elasticity that defied belief! Thanks to all, especially Jeremy Irwin-Singer the Oxford match manager. We look forward to our next visit to the other place.
Gerald Smith serves under Scott's watchful gaze
Jonathan Clark, Oxford & a warming-up Guy Kirk
Chris Peri, Oxford
There's always one in every group
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image

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Our very own Ed Kay to take on World Champ 4.00pm Wednesday 16th Nov

The one and only Ed Kay will be playing some chap called Camden Riviere at 4.00pm this Wednesday, 16th November in the second round of the British Open at Queen’s. Matches are being streamed, and for a warm-up you can watch Ed’s first round match against Tom Durack here:

Go Ed!

Direct link to Ed vs Tom

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Doubles League – Earthworks v L Plates

Three ladies from the L-Plates, Emma, Annabel and Ladies Blues captain Amanda took on three men from the Earthworks team, Tom, Simon and Howard on Wednesday night as part of the on-going Doubles League. This match was for the third division of the five being played on the various evenings of the week.

L-Plates v Earthworks in the real tennis double league at CURTC

L-Plates returning the ball to Earthworks at the Hazard end, as marker Scott looks on

Earthworks took the first rubber from Emma and Annabelle 7 games to 3. However they struggled to maintain their form in the second and third as Annabel’s eye came into focus and Amanda stepped in. A valiant effort in both of the two later matches at 5-1 down meant that honour was restored momentarily, but ultimately the L-Plates ladies prevailed, winning 7-2 and 7-4 respectively.

Earthworks and L-Plates lead the group ladder with Jabs in between who may yet take the lead as they have played a match less than the other two

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Hurlingham Pigeons leave their mark on and off Court….

…but they were kind enough to send us a match report!
Pigeons versus CURTC
Date: 6/11/16 Venue: CURTC

Hurlingham Match Manager: Simon Talbot-Williams
Opposing Match Manager: Charles D’Oyly

Results: Pigeons names first along with (H’cap) & Score
Simon Talbot-Williams vs Charles D’Oyly (STW Rec 15) Won 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Patrick Jenkins vs Christie Marrian Won 6-2, 6-3
Bill Higson vs Fiona Brown Won 3-6, 6-5, 6-5
Andy Smith (co-opted) vs Howard Mason Won 6-4, 6-2

Overall Result: Pigeons Won 4-0

Sadly very few Pigeons were keen to travel this year (and none offered to play at Newmarket the previous day)
However, we had a very successful day with a 4-0 win
Patrick played beautifully on the Blue Ct and completely bamboozled his opponent
Bill was resilient and finally stepped up the plate to take the final game to 15
STW enjoying the Green started well, went to sleep for a set but secured all but one point in the final three games to vanquish his opponent
Charlie D’Oyly cooked a delicious lunch and we all left Cambridge fat and happy

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CURTC vs MURTC @Middlesex, 29/10/2016

I’m sure the velocity isn’t quite as high as Thursday night but I’m equally sure the intensity is…
Simon Hirtzel wins the opener 10-7 after being up 6-0 and down 6-7! MURTC claw one back as Colin Luke goes down 10-7 but Catherine Stewart puts CURTC back in front with a nailbiting 9-8 win. Howard Mason loses a close one 10-6 so it’s all square with 2 rubbers to go…..
….Richard Dunn has his nose in front in the early going of his match while Kate Kirk waits in the Dedans…..

Stop Press: Cryptic tweet from Kate suggests things ended well after an excellent afternoon of tennis.

Stop Stop Press: Indeed this is the case as Richard and Kate both win to seal a 4-2 result in CURTC’s favour

Stop Stop Press: Complete Results
11am Toby Boyle (67) v Simon Hirtzel (63) Score 7 : 10 Cambridge win
12am John Harrington (77) v Colin Luke (78) Score 10 : 7 Cambridge loss
1pm Catherine Hudson (84) v Catherine Stewart (90) Score 8 : 9 Cambridge win
2pm Yuri Kugler (47) v Howard Mason (50) Score 10 : 6 Cambridge loss
3pm Richard Cooke (63) v Richard Dunn (59) Score 9 : 11 Cambridge win
4pm Sharon Maidment (69) v Kate Kirk (65) Score 5 : 9 Cambridge win

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Cambridge vs Petworth, the Photos

You’ve (no doubt) seen the movie but here are some Photos from the Exhibition Doubles!
Match Results
Jamie Giddins – Louis Gordon 6/3, 3/6, 2/6
Ed Kay – Tom Durack 6/1, 6/1
Exhibition Doubles: Cambridge – Petworth 8/3

I think this means that Cambridge and Petwoth both get 3 points and Petworth gets a bonus point by winning at least one of the Singles as the away team. For the league MVP standings, Louis gets 3 points for an Away win and Ed, 2 for a Home win. But I could be wrong…

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge

Ed Kay, Cambridge
Jamie Giddins & Ed Kay, Cambridge
Jamie Giddins, Cambridge
Tom Durack, Petworth
Louis Gordon, Petworth
Ed Kay & Louis Gordon's racket

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Cambridge vs Petworth National League Div 1

Jamie loses to Louis Gordon in three sets but Ed wins against Tom Durack in straight sets. The tie breaker goes to Petworth being the away team. Cambridge wins the Exhibition Doubles match which this year does not count towards the overall match score.

Next up, Leamington @CURTC on Thursday, November 24th.

Chance to revisit some of the action: 1st match starts at about 65 mins into video (unless you are interested in watching the Blue Court lights going off, on, off and on again)

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Praying for victory at the Oratory

Kirk, Kirk, Pimblett and Parslow,

Set off for Berkshire one morn,

Hoping for another famous victory

At a place they called the Oratory

Despite having to leave before dawn

(probably best to stop the poetics there, ed.)

A fine success for the fab four down in Berkshire at Oratory last weekend, with a clean sweep of the singles and shared doubles making a splendid lunch even tastier. Delightful hosts, we look forward to seeing them again in Cambridge, and thoroughly recommend the trip to those who haven’t play on the green green court at Woodcote.


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National League vs Petworth @CURTC, 5:30pm on Thursday

p1050984Ed & Jamie begin their defense of their National League title on Thursday (October 27th) at 5:30pm. Please come along and cheer the home team on as all support is most welcome. The opponents are Petworth House in the form of their two pros, Tom Durack (4) and Louis Gordon (11). Some top class tennis is in prospect!

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CURTC @Wellington, 16/10/16

Some Photos from CURTC’s visit to the new Court at Wellington College.

John Bailey, CURTC
John returning to Guy
Guy Kirk, CURTC
Wellington have a built in video system!
Howard Richardson, CURTC
Kate Kirk, CURTC
Howard & Guy
Guy gets airborne
Clive Watson, WRTC
Well played!
Nigel Parslow & David Pimblett, CURTC
Nigel Parslow & David Pimblett, CURTC (again!)
Andrew Petrie, CURTC
CURTC's visit to Wellington, 16th October, 2016
The Marker's 'Box'

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Guess where we have been!

WelingtonJust back from visiting a rather special Court. As a hint, there is one non-CURTC face in the picture above, Dan Jones, formerly the Pro at Seacourt.

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Hardwick House Tour visit Cambridge for a spot of Lunch….

p1070593p1070681.. and some tennis!
Some more PHOTOS

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Oratory and Middlesex trips this month!

If you need to tick the Oratory or MURTC off your lifetime court list, now’s the time. We’re going to the Oratory on Saturday October 22nd, and MURTC a week later, Saturday October 29th. So far, we’ve only got 4 players for Oratory and a measly 2 for MURTC.

Come on Cambridge! Sign up on the Inter Club Matches link where it says Sign-up, sign-up, sign-up (you can’t miss it). By this Sunday (9th) evening for Oratory, please.

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The Second ‘Not the Varsity Match’, NtVM2, @Oxford and Radley, 25/9/16

Simon admiring the NtVM trophy

Simon admiring the NtVM trophy

In the best of 17 format, our ace scheduler had managed to have the score 8-8 as I took to the Court to play my fellow captain, Liz Eva Leach, in the aptly named ‘Captains’ Match’. I won the first set 6-0 with the feeling that things couldn’t possibly go on like this, I was correct…
We were warmly welcomed by OUTC and Radley who both generously made their busy Courts available for the entire day for the now annual Alumni match between Oxford and Cambridge. Teams were based on Alumni status of members of CURTC and OUTC. Some PHOTOS but there is more to read too

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CURTC vs Radley, 25/9/16

CURTC 3 - 2 Radley

CURTC 3 – 2 Radley

It was good to see some new names on Court representing the Club as CURTC eased to a come from behind victory against Radley last weekend. Keeler Meers, Andy Smith & Vix Harvey made the win column and we will spare Jimmy’s blushes but not mentioning him in this report. Thanks to Catherine for coordinating and the Pros, as always, for organizing and marking.

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2016 Tayabali Tomlin & White Champions League…

… is underway. Some staggering handicap differences are being played!

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Champagne Leagues Finals 2016

In the Div 1 final Mark Perriton beat Ross Smythe, Mark went 5-3 down after tripping over but then picked himself up & rallied with determined retrieving & great serving.

In the Div 2 Final between Paul Carson & Duncan Hannay Robertson was nip & tuck until 4 games all when Duncan managed to pull away to 8-4 with good sidewall serving.

In the Div 3 final James Dowson hard hitting style was too strong, a number of main wall forces went past Jonathan Spence for James to win 8/1 though a number of games went to 40 all.

Many thanks to the sponsors Pol Roger for their generous prizes for each semi finalist a bottle of Drouhin-Vaudon Reserve de Vaudon and for the winner a bottle of Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne.


Ross Smythe & Mark Perriton (Division 1)

Ross Smythe & Mark Perriton (Division 1)

Jonathan Spence & James Dowson (Division 3)

Jonathan Spence & James Dowson (Division 3)

Paul Carson & Duncan Hannay Robertson (Division 2)

Paul Carson & Duncan Hannay Robertson (Division 2)

Results of KO Rounds (or how Mark, Duncan & James did it)

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CURTC rise above Ol’ Rugbeians


CURTC got back on track with a 3-2 win against the Ol’ Rugbeians last weekend. CURTC were helped by Andy Smith’s ‘big jump’ to get above Simon Hirtzell (Old Rugbeians). Andy took up the sport this summer and proved he’s one to watch this season.. he won 6-2, 6-0.

Kees and Vix

ps Spotted on Court: this CURTC leadershhip pairing

President George & Cap't Jimmy

President George & Cap’t Jimmy

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