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Sign up for the 2019/20 Season Club Fixtures & Tournaments. Links for CURTC Calendar and Membership Forms: Seniors/Students and Juniors.

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East Anglia Pennant Update

On Thursday the 16th of January, Cambridge travelled to Newmarket for a crucial fixture in the East Anglia Pennant. At the start of the evening Cambridge were top of the league on 12 points whilst Newmarket were second on 10.
The tennis started with Andrew Barker playing his singles but struggled to find his form and got crushed 6-0. At this point it looked as though the evening could be a long one for Cambridge. Andrew was then joined by Alan Sharpe in the doubles. Andrew and Alan played well together to achieve a comfortable 4-8 win. Andrew left Alan on court to play his singles. Which was the definition of a nail biter; 11 games, of which 8 went to 40-all game point. Alan displayed composure in many high pressure situations and ultimately took home a very hard fought victory, 5-6. Up next was Richard who played well to achieve a narrow win 5-6. Cambridge were looking good at this point; 1-3 in the lead, and with the seemingly unbeatable duo of Sonja and Richard stepping up to play their doubles.
The pair raced into the lead, but Newmarket started to get a rhythm going and begun to make the match very close. Sonja and Richard showed good character to stumble across the line to win 7-8. The last game of the evening saw Sonja play her singles, who played elegantly to get a 4-6 win. Her victory meant that the evening finished 1-5 to Cambridge.
Overall, Cambridge’s visit to Newmarket was very successful and resulted in their lead stretching to 7 points at the top of the table. But perhaps more importantly, Cambridge’s visit was thoroughly enjoyable. With the Newmarket team being very warm and hospitable.

Andrew Barker

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MCC visit in the Pol Roger Trophy, Sat, Jan 25th

Some familiar faces from the MCC will be facing CURTC’s full complement of Ed’s on Saturday. Please come along to the club if you can and if not please support the CURTC Stream team who will be back in action. Check back for the link.

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CURTC visit Hatfield House

The first away fixture for 2020 took a team of ten players to our near neighbours Hatfield on a crisp Sunday morning.
The first match saw Ben Geytenbeek and Andy Smith (Cambridge) up against Mark Wilcox and Joe Thompson (Hatfield). Cambridge raced to a fast start, with Smith playing some excellent retrieving especially from the backhand corner and Geytenbeek just holding on to Thompson’s fast cut volleys. Cambridge took the first set 6/1, but lost a little concentration to let Hatfield into the second set. It soon became clear that the hazard end was the safe place to be with Thompson’s hard forces at or under the dedans. A little more to and fro and Cambridge took the second set 6/4.

The second match, however, did not go as smoothly for Cambridge. Howard Mason and David Pimblett (Cambridge) against Adrian Akers and Steve Jones (Hatfield. Both players struggled with returning the odd serves and large cut from the back wall. They fought hard though, keeping the first set alive for as long as the could but by the second set the Hatfield pair were in their groove. Hatfield took it 4/6 1/6.

Lunch was soon served with as much pasta bake that Hatfield’s two ovens could cook. In the meantime, Tony Kennedy and Sonja Badenhorst (Cambridge) took to the court against Stuart Rose and Peter Joy (Hatfield). The match was an entertaining one, with plenty of banter between the players and the now-satiated crowd. Kennedy was keen to try out the “local serve” from the previous match: an overhead pique from the main wall, with varying success. Kennedy has less success with the local rules, falling foul of Hatfields peculiar top netting rule several times. Yet he was able to combine with Badenhorst’s consistent volleying, Cambridge won the match 6/4 6/4.

David Isherwood and Jacqueline Siu (Cambridge) then took on Chris Sheriff and John Longhurst (Hatfield). It was a tough fought match, with swings of momentum between both pairs. Siu and Isherwood were able to get the ball back over the net enough times to ask questions of the Hatfield pair. Hatfield needed a win to stay in the fixture, but they were denied 6/4 6/4.

With the tie secured, the final match was between Camice Revier and Gabrielle Bailey (Cambridge) and Jill Akers and Lis Hughes (Hatfield). Despite the high handicaps, the tennis was enthralling, leading to the closest set of the day. The games oscillated between the two pairs, control of the serve being key. Unfortunately, Hatfield held on, and took a lead early in the second set that Cambridge couldn’t claw back. The final score was 5/6 3/6.

It was an excellent day of tennis, with thanks to both teams, especially Joe and Jill for their wonderful lunch and to Jon Dawes for his dutiful marking.

Ben Geytenbeek

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The Dutch, 4/1/20

A New Decade’s visit from our friends across the North Sea.

CURTC vs The Dutch, 4/1/2020

At 5-all, Professor Kirk’s Chilli seemed to be the best idea for a tie breaker. But to get there (5-all, not the location of the Chilli), we had a couple of 8-7’s one going Dutch, the other not. I had the slightly unnerving experience of standing (literally) midway between Peter (standing in for the unfortunate Andrew Petrie) and Andreas. With the occasional shrug and grimace to Vix in my role but on the opposite of the net. We rushed to 8-all on our way to a set to 10. I held my nerve, i.e. kept out of the way as efficiently as possible, and we eeked out a 10-8 win. Many thanks also to our very own newly haircutted Mark who leapt from the Marker’s box to battle Andreas to 40-all in a one game third set tie breaker after Andrew was forced to retire. And last but by no means least, many thanks to Marker, Kees and Chef extraordinaire John Trapp for another memorable evening!

Click on  The Dutch 2020 you will be taken to a Google photos Gallery with the above photos and a few more…

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How do I Become a Member?

CURTC is on Grange Road, next to the UL

Membership of CURTC is open to all, very much town as well as gown. We love welcoming new members, please come in and find out about this ancient and intriguing game. Our professionals are 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 one hour taster lessons in groups of up to 6 people. The next taster session is at 6pm on Wednesday 12 February 2020. Just register your interest with the pros in person, by telephone (01223 357106) or by email (

You will get an introduction to the game and a session on court with a professional.   We provide rackets and balls; you just need to turn up with comfortable sports kit and gym shoes.  There are male and female changing rooms with showers as well as some (limited) onsite parking.  It helps if you are used to racket sports, but it is not essential.

If you want to investigate further we then offer 2 more lessons, each for an hour, with a professional at £30. Again we will provide a racket. You can take this alone or with friends.

If you decide to join the club, there is no joining fee and annual membership rates are as follows:

  • Adult member: £99 (£185 for the season 1 October – 30 September)
  • Under 28          : £50 (£93 for the season 1 October – 30 September)
  • 18 -21                : £25 (£47 for the season 1 October – 30 September)
  • Under 18          : £80 (includes off peak court fees)

Court fees are charged in addition.

CURTC can be found where Burrell’s Walk and Grange Road meet, i.e. right next to the University Library!

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CURTC Xmas Tournament

Gabriele & Catherine

With all the top seeded players being unable hold their nerve under the stress imposed by the handicap algorithm, we saw Catherine Stewart defeat Nina Ludekens and Gabriele Bailey defeat Alasdair in their respective semi finals.

After a 9am start of play it was impressive that many of the 24 participants remained for the 7pm final. Many thanks to Louise and others for providing sustenance to keep the athletes fuelled!

Catherine had the energy and greater concentration to succeed 6/1 in her first CURTC trophy against the slightly exhausted Gabriele who played many dazzling shots throughout the day.

Many thanks to John Trapp, as always, for conceiving the format and to all who played with the appropriate ratio of Christmas cheer and ruthless competitiveness.


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University Cup: Finalists and Presentation

You didn’t think that the players in the University Cup would escape without a photo montage or two did you?

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70+ Category Tournament

We have the first pair of CURTC 2020 Category Tournament finalists! CURTC student co-President, Rosie Taylor and Isabella Harvey will play for the honour of a spot on an Honours Board on Finals Day, Saturday March 14th next year. Finals Day is again sponsored by Hannay Robertson Financial Planning so many thanks DHR.
Congratulations are due to Bella & Rosie as well as to all whom participated in some hard fought tennis on Friday night and earlier today.
Thanks to Kees for the photos

Cameron, Camice

Gabriele, Camice

Click on image to see the scores…

Gillian, Rosie, Bella

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University Student Cup: Finals & Results

Sunday play began early, the pros clearing the blue court for play, but with the expectation that the sweat would worsen over the course of the day. So play began early, starting with the Division 2 quarter-finals. There were a few upsets straight away: Thursfield, who had only just made the knockouts by the barest of margins, found luck to be on his side against Whitworth, streaking to a 6/3 victory. Siu found the better of Roker, while Petti cruised past Furst and Waldock, all matches 6/2. The Division 2 Final matched up Petti and Siu. Petti through everything at every ball, trapping Siu down at the hazard end for enough games to come away with an 8/4 victory.

Meanwhile in Division 1, Bonaventura and Ahuja both looked strong, easily dispatching Geytenbeek and Tillson respectively, both matches 6/2. The final was a rematch of the previous evening, but seemed that Ahuja recovered better on the day and was able to play Bonaventura out of the match. The 8/2 scoreline did not reflect the high quality of the tennis, though Ahuja kept winning in the critical moments.

In the doubles, Ahuja and Blaksley continued their winning run against Bonaventura and Geytenbeek, the latter two not seeming to find a way to win on the Blaksley-Geytenbeek service games. Meanwhile, Petti and Siu were still too strong for Loyd and Roker, comfortably winning 8/4.

The Championship finals pitted the winners of each division against each other, and it turned out that the singles finalists were also the doubles finalists. In the doubles, Petti and Siu fought well against Ahuja and Blaksley, but the power hitting of Ahuja and volleying of Blaksley were things that neither of them had played against before, the lower handicaps winning 6/4. In the singles, the handicap difference was too big for Ahuja, with Petti stealing a 6/2 victory.

Thank you to the Giraffe Club for their support and Pol Roger for providing the prizes. Further thanks to Christie Marrian and Paul Brown for setting up the streaming, and to Kees, Peter and everyone involved with marking the matches. Also to the Captains and co-Presidents for their support in making the tournament a success.

Ben Geytenbeek

Full Results: Read More

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University Student Cup: Part 1

With the Inter-University tournament moving to March, the past weekend saw the first running of the University Student Cup; a handicap tournament between all of the current Cambridge students. There were new players and old, burgeoning talents and raw recruits, handicaps ranging from the 20s to the 80s in a singles and doubles draw. After a few matches earlier in the week for scheduling reasons, play started in earnest on Friday morning with a Group A singles match between Ashwin Ahuja (Gonville & Caius) and Ivo MacDonald (Magdalene), which after a few minutes resulted in a force being smacked into the dedan and disrupting the camera feed!

The morning matches, confined to the Blue Court, saw some high quality mid-handicap tennis, including a moment where Miles Kempton (Robinson) went to fetch a ball from under the grille, but lost the grip of his racket which went flying up onto the penthouse above the winning gallery. It took some monkeying work by Jim to fetch it back down again.
In the afternoon, play started on the Green Court and the club was soon a buzz. Notable performances came from William Waldock (Trinity Hall) who won three matches on the trot, and Thomas Whitworth (Robinson) who became the first group winner in the early evening. His closest competitor was our new import from the Hobart Real Tennis Club, Edward Furst (Trinity), who pushed Whitworth into a tight 8/5 match. The doubles matches also started in the afternoon, and it looked like the team to beat in Division 2 was the pairing of Ulla Petti (Trinity) and Jacqueline Siu (Churchill), winning through their group while only conceding 8 total games. Play continued into the evening with Cameron Roker (Robinson) backing up her Cambridge Doubles League Division 5 matches with another win in the singles.

Saturday morning saw the bulk of the Division 1 doubles matches. There were some excellent pairings and even more excellent tennis. MacDonald struggled to recover from his late night celebrating his birthday; he and his partner Sophia Lewis (Clare) struggled against the large handicap differences. There were three especially strong pairs, but only two would qualify for the finals. The crucial match saw Marc Bonaventura (Trinity) and Ben Geytenbeek (Darwin) narrowly edge Jack Drew (Selwyn) and Ed Tillson (Selwyn). The Australian pair had match points in three consecutive games, but the Selwyn pair held on to a final-point thriller, marginally edged by the Australians. They would qualify through alongside Ahuja and India Blaksley (Homerton).

In the meantime, the Green Court saw tennis at the opposite end of the handicaps. Despite losing to Roker, Rosie Taylor (St Edmunds) found the rest of her matches quite comfortable, and the two of them would both easily qualify through. The doubles saw a fight for the right to face Petti and Siu in the Division 2 final, the crucial match was a very tight 8/7 match between Josh Loyd (Sidney Sussex) and Roker against Furst and Taylor, the former going through.
However, the mood soured pretty quickly in the afternoon. The Blue Court began to sweat, and by the time MacDonald was playing Drew, it got so bad that the match had to be stopped and the court declared unsafe for play. This meant that the remainder of the afternoon’s matches had to be squeezed onto the Green Court. Fortunately, the tournament had been running ahead of time, so it looked as if it might just all squeeze in. MacDonald and Drew resumed their match at 2/4, but only MacDonald seemed to adjust to the change in court, racing through the remainder of the match without dropping another game.

As the night went on, the qualification races for the finals started to come into focus. In Division 2, the group winners and runners-up were clear, but the next-best finishers also would qualify. Although at the time they thought they were only playing for pride, the match between Emrys Thursfield (Fitzwilliam) and Loyd was a crucial one, with Thursfield coming out on top in a hard-fought 6/4 match. This meant that the race for the final qualification spot was between Thursfield and Bryony Pehram (Lucy Cavendish). The fate would be decided in a match between Perham and Roker, Perham needing to win 3 games to qualify through. The score was quickly 2-all, and several 40-all games left Thursfield’s heart racing. Fortunately for Thursfield, Roker found the very top of the tambour, only just below the out-of-court line and prevented Perham from winning the game she needed, sending Thursfield through.
The final division 1 matches stretched late into the night and saw some fantastic tennis. Bonaventura was playing brilliantly against Drew and then Ahuja, winning 8/2 and 8/4 respectively. All were able to smack the ball around all over the court for some high-intensity strokeplay. By the end of the night, all of the finalists had been determined, and everybody was keen to see how the courts would hold up.

Ben Geytenbeek

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NtVM5, More

Some pictures of the teams demonstrating exemplary etiquette…

The Net, NtVM5

…and who got to take home which trophy…


…and finally a link to a Google Photos Album with the individual photos and more, click HERE for NtVM5

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CURTC vs Radley, Brodie Cup: Part 2

Match 1: 30 Singles Neil Stutchbury beat Matthew Alden 6/5 6/2

The first match saw some fantastic tennis between Cambridge’s Stutchbury and Radley’s Alden, “on loan” from Oxford for this match. Stutchbury began with some clinical execution into the backhand corner to race to a 4-0 lead in the first set, but Alden started to dig them out and turn the rallies into his power game. Slowly, Alden fought back to 4-all and 5-all, with the frustration beginning to show for Stutchbury. Finally, he pulled through the first set 6-5 by some excellent play to both sides of the court. Stutchbury continued the momentum into the second set sweeping the first four games again to 4-0. Despite some hard forcing from Alden, to pull back a couple of games, Stutchbury held his nerve to win by defending some short chases.

Match 2: 50 Singles Gerald Smith lost to Martin McNair 5/6 1/6

G. Smith was playing against the odds, with an opponent who had dropped several handicap points since the cut-off in September. Nevertheless, he raced to an early lead, finding the right length of his shots and consistently hitting the tambour. At 3-0, McNair started to find his serve, but G. Smith held steady to 5-2. However, the match quickly fell into a familiar pattern. G. Smith struggled with the serve, reaching a lead in most games but dropping a chase and struggling from the Hazard end. McNair built momentum, taking the first set 5-6 and then racing through the second set to take the match 1-6.

Match 3: 35 Doubles Julian Stafford and Andy Smith lost to Rupert Henson and Tony Munsey 4/6 6/3 6/4

The match was truly an epic. Having just arrived at the court, Stafford and A. Smith were straight on for their warm-up. In their way was the fast paced play and heavy boasting of Henson and Munsey. Cambridge started poorly, with both Cambridge players making several unforced errors as Radley raced to a 1-4 lead. Eventually, though, Cambridge found a little bit of momentum and and brought back a couple of games. They even defended 3 set points before finally succumbing to a wayward force at the dedan. Cambridge carried the momentum into the second set as the Cambridge pair started to get the hang of the court. Stafford was swiping at anything that came near him and A. Smith was digging everything out from the corners on the main wall. The ball pinged all over the place but Cambridge got a lead in the set and held onto it. A quick return game by A. Smith followed by some long drawn out rallies gave Cambridge the second set 6-3. The intensity dropped a little at the start of the third, Radley going up 0-2, but then everything seemed to find the strings of the Cambridge rackets. No Radley force seemed to go in, and Cambridge had an answer for everything. The crowd was jubilant as Cambridge won four games back-to-back, and had a chance at going within one game of the match. It was not to be; Radley stuck to it and pinned Cambridge at the hazard end for a few games to benefit from the last swing in momentum. A final game shot at the winning gallery on Hazard One found the Hazard Second Gallery post and the game was over.

Match 4: 40 Singles Aaron Wienkers lost to Magnus Garson 1/6 5/6

Soon after this match started, it was clear that Wienkers was being outclassed. Garson, a year 11 student, was covering the court brilliantly and showing some excellent forces into the dedans. Wienkers tried, yet failed to get a backhand volley time after time, as Garson raced through the first set 1/6 and looked like he would wrap it up quickly. But Wienkers dug deep at the start of the second set. His volleys started to work properly, and was testing Garson out in the backhand corner. First one game, then another and Wienkers was on a roll. The galleries started buzzing again, could he pull off an upset? The score was 3-2, then 4-2 and at 5-2 it looked like Cambridge were back in it. Garson provided a couple of excellent service games to drag himself back in it, and Wienkers didn’t even get a set point until the score was 5-5, 40-all, at which point Garson laid a worse than a yard chase and it was all over.

Match 5: 45 Doubles Ben Geytenbeek and Christie Marrian lost to Ed Alder and Dom Stone 2/6 2/6

The fixture by now was well and truly decided in Radley’s favour, and it was left to the school’s rackets and lawn tennis champions to seal the deal over Geytenbeek and Marrian. The Cambridge duo tried hard to get some momentum, but anything even remotely down the centre of the court was volleyed from the galleries hard into the grille or the tambour and the point was lost. They struggled to find a chase as the athletic youngsters seemed to get everything back. They managed to string together a few games here and there, but whatever wimpering of a resistance they compiled was beyond futile.

Thanks go to Chris Ronaldson (above right) and Nino Merola for their marking, the latter having played in the British Open earlier in the day, and to Maggie Henderson-Tew for catering and hospitality.

Ben Geytenbeek

Google Photos Album with above pictures and much more: RadleyBrodie

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Bit late with this one! Not the Varsity Match 5, the annual Alumni match, saw the ‘Not the Light Blues’ retain the coveted Fleming Cup after 18 hours of hard fought tennis. Part 1 has the teams more or less in separate collages. Click on the images for a larger version. Part 2 coming soon…

(Most of) Not the Light Blues, NtVM5

Not the Dark Blues, NtVM5

Many thanks to Pol Roger for their support!

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CURTC visit Radley in the Brodie Cup…

…again with, unfortunately, similar results. While we wait for the Match report here are some images highlighted by the victorious Neil Stutchbury.

CURTC vs Radley, 17/11/19

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