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Return to Play

Dear Members,

We plan to reopen on Wednesday 2 December. However, Cambridgeshire is now in Tier 2, so we will only be allowed singles play as per the guidelines from our NGB.

I hope you have all stayed well and that we will see you back at the Club next week or soon after. Thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate our way through the guidelines.

Best wishes

CURTC President

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Wednesday, November 4th

Dear Members,

I am very sorry to let you know that, in line with Government requirements, the Club will close from end of play today until further notice. Hopefully the lockdown will end in early December and we will see you all playing then.

We really appreciate your continued support and hope to see you all again soon.

Best wishes

CURTC President

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Champagne League Finals

James Dowson (64) def Rosie Taylor (72) in the Division 2 finals: they were worthy finalists as they were both too strong for their rivals in their semis with Dowson def Waldock 8/4 and Taylor def Bovaird 8/2.

In the Division 1 finals the matches were closer with the President getting full value for her money with all 3 of her matches going to 8/7. Vix def Andy Smith in the quarter 8/7 and then Marco Bonaventura 8/7 but was unable to prevent Edward Furst from winning that final game at 7-all in the Div 1 final. Furst, who has recently completed his studies at the University took the prize of our favourite champagne.

A fitting end to the tournament was the prize draw for matches played prior to the deadline. Edward Furst pulled no. 5 out of the cup of 15 entries. Vix’s number!

Ed Furst

James Dowson

James & VH

VH & Rosie Taylor

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The 2020 NtVM

The 6th edition of the ‘Not the Varsity Match’ was played over a number (4) of Courts and a number (2) of weeks rather than the single day (Sunday, September 20th) and two courts (Oxford/Radley) as planned. The new format brought a number of new faces to the Alumni squads facing off for the much coveted NtVM trophy fashioned from our sponsors’, Pol Roger, wares. Divided into three groups, it was even-steven in the Good and Not-So-Bad sections but in the Beautiful group, the Not the Light Blues pulled ahead to clinch a 9 1/2 – 7 1/2 victory.

The MVP (most virtual player) was a tough one. The Jury narrowed it down to 4 players, two of whom won without conceding a game and two of whom lost from 7-all, 40-all. However, in the end incumbency proved vital and we have our first repeat NtVM-MVP in Sarah Lambie from RTC.

Staying in Cambridge

Thanks to everyone who took part and here’s to NtVM7 which (hopefully) will be held at Oxford and Radley on the equivalent date next year with perhaps an expanded prequel at Courts across the Country/Planet.

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Champagne Leagues* & the CURTC Summer Singles…

…Leagues are all up and running. Good luck to all participants and Stay Safe!

Click HERE for the Champagne Leagues latest…

and here for Division 1 of the CURTC Summer Singles League schedule and Tables

and HeRe for Division 2

*sponsored by Pol Roger


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149th Varsity Match Highlights

Another must watch video edited by Jacqueline Siu!

– Editor: Jacqueline Siu
– Music: Cinematic Trailer by Scott Holmes (Free CC License)

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A Must Watch Video from the 2nds Varsity Match!

– Editor: Jacqueline Siu
– Music: Epic Cinematic by Scott Holmes (Free CC License)

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Apologies but I missed including Charlie and Ivo’s 20 Category Final from the Hannay Robertson Financial Planning sponsored Finals day!

Ivo Macdonald vs Charlie D’Oyly

Charlie D’Oyly x2

Click on the images for (much) larger versions!

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Finals Day, Part 3

In the Graduate Cup final between Cameron Roker and Alex Wright, Alex had a massive handicap disadvantage (banned chases less than 3&4, one serve, no tambour, etc, etc) but started calmly against a slightly nervy Cameron. But she hung in there and got her game and strategy on track. Cameron clawed back and inched ahead with some masterful judgement of when to leave at the service end. But with victory looking likely, it was Alex’s turn to claw his way back. At times this was agonisingly slow as Alex had to win 5 or 6 points to win a game but back he came to 7-all. The last game lasted even longer as chases were traded and the score inevitably got to 40-all…
Thanks to both players for a fantastic match and Peter who (correctly, IMO) called the last point when the ball landed 6″ from a critical chase line.

Graduate Cup: Cameron Roker vs Alex Wright

Another classic was the second set of the Lawrence Cup. Sophia was one set up but 5-3 down to a resurgent India. She saved a couple of set points as the scored got to 5-all to set up an epic game in which India saved half a dozen match points while Sophia saved another 3 or 4 set points!

Lawrence Cup: Sophia Lewis vs India Blaksley

Lawrence Cup pt 2

The other matches were keenly contested and a lot closer than some of the scorelines suggested. Some montages…

CURTC Ladies Championship, 2020: Sophia Lewis vs Venetia D’Arcy

40 Category: Andrew Barker vs Ben Geytenbeek

60 Category: Iain Brown vs Dave Isherwood

30 Category: Stephen Doel vs Andy Smith

Thanks again to our sponsor, Hannay Robertson Financial Planning and Stay Safe, everyone!

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Finals Day, 2020, part 2

Some action shots with apologies to our 50’s finalists (David & Alan) as my camera battery had had enough by the time they made it on court.

Finals Day 2020, sponsored by Hannay Robertson Financial Planning

and Charlie playing a sharp drive down the line in an attempt to wrong foot Ivo.

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Finals Day 2020, sponsored by Hannay Robertson Financial Planning

It was only two weeks ago but it feels like a lifetime. Stay safe everyone…
First our Finalists. (70+ & Junior Championships were postponed).

Finals Day, 2020

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CURTC Reopens on July 25th

from President Vix

I received confirmation this morning that the work carried out during the lockdown, and the risk assessment we have developed is sufficient to allow us to reopen on a restricted basis. I am extremely grateful to Jim Ludekens for carrying out essential tests and other tasks during the lockdown period, which has been crucial to our success today. Please now feel free to book as normal. Booking the courts acknowledges your acceptance of four important ‘Booking conditions’ below and that you will comply with the ‘Regulations for Real Tennis over the current period’ which follow. Please take particular note of Sections 2 and 3.:

Read More

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Cambridge win the East Anglia Pennant!

On Wednesday the 11th March, Hatfield visited Cambridge in the last match of the 2019/20 East Anglia Pennant season. Coming into the match Cambridge were top of the table on 21 points with Hatfield in second on 15 points, meaning that Hatfield could take the league to a playoff match if they won 0-6.

The evening started with Alan Sharpe’s singles. Alan started slowly with his opponent making very few errors, at 1-5 Alan started to gain some momentum and picked up a couple games, but he fell short, losing 3-6. Up next was Sonja Badenhorst, who played very elegantly to race to a 5-2 lead, when her opponent started to make a comeback. Many long rallies later, at 5-5 Sonja kept her cool to win 6-5. This ensured the pennant would be coming home to CURTC, this was a fitting way for the pennant to won as Sonja was without a doubt the MVP of the tournament; winning all of her matches. Next was Andrew Barker who battled hard in a close fought contest, with the match going to 5-5, 40-all game point, Andrew narrowly lost 5-6. Richard Jones was next in the last singles match of the evening. Richard struggled to find his form whilst his opponent was playing incredibly well, Richard ended up losing 0-6. CURTC were 1-3 down after the singles and were under real threat of losing their unbeaten status. Andrew and Alan had their doubles next and played well together to win 8-3. The final match of the season came down to Sonja and Richard, who played in a very close fought contest, narrowly winning 8-7. This meant that the evening concluded 3-3, with CURTC finishing the season unbeaten!

Hatfield were great opponents and all the tennis was played in a good spirit, which resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable evening for all.

Andrew Barker (EAP Captain)

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Inter-Universities Weekend: The Report

Inter-Universities 2020

Cambridge and Newmarket once again hosted the annual Inter-Universities Cup & Tournament last weekend. Players came in representing Exeter, Bristol, Middlesex, UCL, Coventry, St Andrews by car, train, minibus and even one player flying in from Dubai. Play began on Friday, with the first rounds of the Inter-University Cup. As the stronger teams would enter in the second round, it was a chance for the higher-handicapped players to get some game time. There were a couple of close matches. Fresh from their doubles victory at the Varsity Match the weekend before, India Blaksely and Sophia Lewis (Cambridge) had a good battle against the better-ranked Exeter pair of Felix Delaforce and Toby Calder, with a live doubles after the singles went one match each way. Similarly, Bristol’s Louis Richards held strong against the Middlesex 2 pair of Ana Rainea and Jack Carter, winning both the singles and the doubles without dropping a game, although Carter did manage to beat Richard’s teammate Arthur Guy. Elsewhere, Middlesex 1 and Cambridge 3 cruised through to the second round.

Friday also saw the first matches of the handicap singles competition. This year, the draw was divided into two divisions. In the second division, the Middlesex players adapted to the Cambridge Green court well, with their pros Chris Bray and Will Burns dropping in to lend some support. Across the day, Amirreza Khorsandi and Kenny Chiang looked strong from Group F, both enthusiastically taking to the marking as well. Meanwhile, Thomas Gray from Exeter was cruising through Group E until he came unstuck to Ruben Roque from Middlesex, making the mathematics of the group interesting. Ultimately, Roque would lose a place in the final to his teammate Carter.

In the first division, the matches from the premier group took place across both courts in the evening. There was some fantastic tennis played, especially by the UCL pair of Tom Carew Hunt and Hugh Pemberton. But there wasn’t anything any of them could do against Charlie Wells (Coventry), fresh from a victory in the Boomerang earlier in the year. He could serve very consitently and found the targets seemingly on command to win through into the knockout round. Meanwhile, groups C and D saw lots of close matches featuring a lot of players from Cambridge, but also Calder, Rainea, Samuel Asgedom (Middlesex) and Jack Collingwood (Bristol). Every match was a roller coaster ride, with momentum swinging violently. Both groups were incredibly close, and every game mattered.

Saturday morning saw the second round of the Inter-University Cup. Richards form for Bristol 1 carried forward from the previous day, besting Jack Drew from Cambridge 2. However, Ashwin Ahuja was too strong despite the very early hour and took Cambridge 2 to victory. Out at Newmarket, Ben Geytenbeek (Cambridge 3) very nearly got the better of Charles Stevens (St Andrews 1), but couldn’t convert several chances to close out the match. In the doubles however, Geytenbeek and Bobby Bruce were successful in picking of the weaker player in Sebastian Flame, taking a nailbiting upset victory. Back in Cambridge, Carew Hunt and Pemberton from UCL cruised past Middlesex 1, and the Cambridge 1 pair of Ivo Macdonald and Marc Bonaventura had a rusty time against Exeter 1, coming off their big Varsity matches.

The final group stage matches were on Saturday afternoon. In group B, Geytenbeek narrowly qualified through ahead of Richards, thanks to the latter’s defeat to Bruce. Delaforce cruised through the group to win comfortably. Guy D’Oyly (Exeter) breezed through Group H out at Newmarket, though Sean Cummins (Bristol) was not far behind. Play stopped early on the Blue Court to set up for the evening, while Cambridge 1 annihilated Cambridge 3 over on the Green Court to reach the Inter-University Cup Final.

By the time everybody returned that evening, the Blue Court had been transformed into a dance hall thanks to some great work by Vix Harvey and Andrew Barker. Lights were draped from the penthouses and a ceilidh band played music. A roast dinner was served, followed by dancing at the hazard end late into the night.

By the time the players returned the next morning, the court was back to its usual playable condition. The second semifinal of the Inter-University Cup was that morning. Drew and Ahuja couldn’t quite get the better of Carew Hunt and Pemberton from UCL in the singles, though won a close dead-rubber doubles match. Then followed the knockout stages of the Handicap Singles. In Division 1, there were some large handicap odds being played, with Thomas Whitworth (Cambridge) winning through against both group A qualifiers. Meanwhile, India Blaksley fought through to the final only playing against other Cambridge players in Ed Furst and Miles Kempton. The star players from the group stage, Wells and Delaforce, both came unstuck early on. The final was a repeat of an earlier group stage match. Blaksley hung on well against Whitworth as it was clear both of them were better than their handicaps. But ultimately, Whitworth got the break and held strong to victory.

In division 2, one half of the draw was dominated by Middlesex players, while the other half was dominated by Exeter players. Yet Arthur Guy from Bristol, improving with every match played, made his way past two Middlesex players to meet Tom Gray from Exeter in the final. Gray had made it through in bittersweet fashion, as his opponent in the semifinal, Sean Cummins, rolled an ankle and could not continue his match. In the final, Gray was clearly the stronger player, racing to a quick lead and holding on to win. Finally, in the Inter-University Cup, Cambridge 1 would take victory over UCL 1. Despite showing some fight, the Cambridge pair were clearly too strong and were getting better and better with each game played.

Huge thanks to the sponsorship of Pol Roger, the Tennis and Rackets Association and the Dedanists Foundation. Thanks to the Cambridge Pros for their organising and marking. Further thanks to Christie and Paul for their wonderful streaming*, to Vix Harvey and Andrew Barker for organising the ceilidh and to Ben Geytenbeek for managing the draws.

Ben Geytenbeek

* Special mention to Ben for the amazing scoring/stats addition to the stream, Ed

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Inter-Universities Cup & Tournament

1st: A big thanks to our Sponsors: The Dedanists Foundation and Pol Roger2nd: Congratulations the The Inter-University Cup Winners & Runners Up

Ivo Macdonald & Marc Bonaventura, Cambridge

Hugh Pemberton** & Tom Carew Hunt, UCL

3rd: Congratulations to the Tournament Winners: Thomas Whitworth and Tom Gray

**Div 1 Finalists: India Blaksley & Thomas Whitworth

Div 2 Finalists: Arthur Guy & Tom Gray

and last, but by no means least, thanks to all those who made the weekend possible including

Ben Geytenbeek, Chief organiser, photobombing a shot of CURTC’s racket collection

Peter Paterson, Kees and all the markers and commentators

** Please note exemplary over the shoulder photo technique as taught by Vix and demonstrated by Hugh, India and Thomas

Photos by Kees and Kees’ camera

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