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Follow links in the Fixtures list (leftmost in menu above, coming soon) or links as follows to sign up for the 2018/19 Season Inter Club Matches or Club Tournaments (inc Ladies Championship). Links for CURTC Membership Forms: Seniors/Students and Juniors

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Newmarket v CURTC Ladies, Sunday, 13th., January, TK reports

The handicaps were high but so was the entertainment value of the tennis on offer. That it came down to the last game of the day’s last match to leave a six all draw was somehow fitting. A day enjoyed by all.

Tony Kennedy

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The Dutch visit the Home of Real Tennis

CURTC vs The Dutch, 5/1/19

CURTC vs The Dutch, 5/1/19

5 of the 12 matches went the full distance and 2 more were only one game short of the maximum. So the handicap system seems in good shape but the schedule did suffer! At the end of it all, CURTC had managed to reverse the orange tide which had engulfed us over the past two years. But it did take a considerable number of games to do so, I reckon the entire match comprised of very nearly 90% of the maximum possible number of games!
Picking out even a few highlights is impossible but I’ll do it anyway. Our Doubles went to 40-all in the last possible game. At no point was either pair ahead by more than two games and the lead changed at least 4 times. We only won when we finally managed to induce a volleying error from our worthy opponents. I was pretty shattered mentally as much as anything after it was all over. And then I had to go and do it all again in my Singles match except I lost (in the last possible game, of course).

And if you want to see all the results…. here you go!
Click on any of the images for a larger version and if you want to see a Google Photos gallery of the individual shots (plus a few extras) please click HERE
Many thanks to Peter, Simon, Mark & Kees who marked the marathon and the CURTC Juniors for their patience….

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East Anglia Pennant at Half Way

Played Doubles Singles Total Points
PRESTED 3 6 8 14
CURTC 3 3 8 11
NRTC 3 1 5 6
HHTC 3 2 3 5
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2018 Christmas Tournament

This year’s Christmas tournament was as successful as ever, with a full draw of 24 Christmas hangovers on court fighting for the coveted box of chocs. The creative format of the draw, by John Trapp, requires successful players to be able to overcome opponents of vast differences in handicap in singles matches plus the ability to coordinate effectively in new doubles pairings.

Groups are formed of a low handicap, a medium handicap and a high handicap – only one player makes it though to the knockout rounds. In the knock-out stage John Reid struggled with Noah Wright’s serve and Tony Kennedy couldn’t cope with Alex Peake’s energy, setting up the semi between Alex and Noah in which Alex won 6-2.

In the bottom half of the draw Geoffrey Greatrex defeated Richard Bowers on match point for both players, and Alan Harris (who gallantly stood in for the group winner Jeremy F) also won 6/5 versus John Burnett. Alan’s smooth swing and calm movement allowed him to conserve his energy and win 6/3 against the tiring Geoffrey.

For a further year the final was viewed by family members trying to remain unbiased with their applause but quietly hoping to return home with the box of Lindt. After a close first game which Alan won, Alex took a strong 4-1 lead with excellent speed around the court. However, Alan calmly came back to make it 5-all.

The 15 year old Alex almost lost his opportunity as the handicap in the final game was now providing Alan with less of a disadvantage, but Alex showed his desire for the prize and attacked consistently for the dedans, which proved a winning strategy.

Congratulations Alex!


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East Anglia Pennant Update

CURTC’s winning streak came to an end on December 13th away at Newmarket. The team lost 4-2 (but there is a home leg to redeem ourselves).
The team was:
Julian Stafford
Jim Ludekens
Ollie Brenton
Alan Sharpe

In spite of some very promising starts, the team was rarely able to clinch victory. However, we retain 2nd place in the League with an important match against the current leaders on January 10th.

Jim Ludekens

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Getting the Royal Treatment

CURTC braved the latest named storm (Deirdre?) last Saturday to visit the latest of the Real Tennis Courts at Hampton Court. Sadly the 16th century court is no more so we had to make do with the 17th century version. The place is steeped in history and as a recent guide to tennis (1553) states,

this game has been created for a good purpose, namely, to keep our bodies healthy, to make our young men stronger and more robust, chasing idleness, virtue’s mortal enemy, far from them and thus making them of a stronger and more excellent nature

I guess, not much has changed in the intervening centuries beyond the benefits now being available to both men and women and no longer restricted to the young.

The court is huge but quite bouncy so getting a hazard chase proved surprisingly (depressingly??) easy, as I was to discover. CURTC’s day had started brightly on both the trains and the M25. The brightness continued as Jo & Dave overcame a major handicap disadvantage and two spirited opponents and we moved smoothly through the first set and to a 5-3 lead in the second.
What could possibly go wrong, you dear reader, and those in the Dedans could reasonably ask? Lunch it appears. The Dedans emptied and so did our fortunes. This sadly presaged a rather dramatic change in CURTC’s day as the G-Men took a bit too long to come to grips with the Court. However, to be honest I did not see much more than the last point of their match as I was discovering quite how splendid the lunching arrangements were both in the Club and the neighbouring Palace. TK & Andy also struggled although it did give me an opportunity to take a photo showing quite how large the court seems.

Alas I missed DHR’s noble effort to make the scoreline more reasonable as I had to venture out into Deirdre to find a train. This proved remarkably easy until we made a un-scheduled stop at Stevenage. A tree had buried a train and Royston, the driver breezily told us followed by ‘I’m going to open the doors in case anyone would like to get some fresh air’. ‘Oh dear tree’ (Deirdre, geddit? No, Ed), I thought but I can take a hint so I sprinted* for a cab…
2018 Royal Tennis Court v Cambridge Results-1

*Yeah, ok, slight exaggeration but reads better than ‘lumbered’

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Pol Roger Cup

Cambridge move on to the semi-finals following a 3-2 win at Moreton Morrell. Thanks to Keith Beechener for the pix!

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70+ Category Tournament

Last weekend saw the first of this season’s Category tournaments for those with handicaps of, you guessed it, greater than 70. On Friday evening the 80+ handicappers had their own mini tourney with two qualifying for the Saturday groups. So congratulations to Christopher Desira who has the 80+ bragging rights for the rest of the season. Congrats also to Jacqueline Siu who also made it through to Saturday but special congratulations to everyone who signed up and played!

On Saturday, the groups went more or less to form as Elle Curzon-Green and Krittka D’Silva won their groups with 3 wins each but with a couple of close 6-5 matches on the way. They met Paul Fox and Joss Poulton in the two semi-finals in another good mix of ‘Town & Gown’. Elle presumably not wearing a gown was clearly unstoppable and Paul edged the other semi to earn a rematch in the Tournament final which will be played on Finals Day, sponsored by Hannay-Robertson Financial Planning, Saturday, March 16th next year. Click on the image below and you will be able to see all the results.

Elle & Paul’s route to Finals day

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Inter-University Tournament, 2018

IU 2018

Middlesex University @IUT 2018

For four days in late November, Cambridge and Newmarket Real Tennis clubs hosted over 60 fresh-faced students from nine universities across the UK for the annual Inter-University tournament. In addition to tournament debuts from St Andrew’s University and St Mary’s University, this year saw the return of Oxford to the tournament, along with strong delegations from Exeter, Bristol, Newcastle, Durham, Middlesex and the hosts Cambridge.

Newcastle, Durham and Middlesex arrived in Cambridge for the start of play on Thursday evening, kicking things off with the first three groups in the handicap singles tournament. Despite the long travel, Hubie Sangster (Newcastle) was the first group winner through to the knockout stages and was joined there by the Middlesex pair of Juan Camacho and Luke Newman.

The tournament began in earnest on Friday morning as the remainder of the teams filed into Cambridge. The day started with the first round of the Inter-University Cup. Each University fields a number of teams of two or three players, and each fixture comprises of two singles and a doubles match. This year, the teams were seeded, so the stronger teams would only be joining later in the competition. Even still, three teams collected 8-0 clean sheets across all three of their matches, the most excitement coming in the match between Cambridge 4 and Middlesex 3. Tied 1-all after the singles, the result came down to the doubles. A late surge by the Middlesex duo of Prabhiyot Kang and Harry Ashton was too much for Elle Curzon Green and Sophia Lewis; Middlesex taking the fixture 8-5.

The remainder of Friday was consumed with most of the rest of the group stages of the handicap tournament. The first appearance for St Mary’s University at the tournament began well, with club founder Trevor Jones winning his group losing only a single game. Elsewhere, rackets players Ivo Macdonald (Cambridge) and Felix Delaforce (Exeter) showed how similar the two sports are, cruising to victories in their respective groups. Bristol also had a good afternoon, all four of their entrants (Jamie Day, Louis Richards, Valentine Scott-Geddes and Alexis De Chaisemartin) making it through. Sophia Lewis (Cambridge) narrowly won her group on a countback of games won. The group stages were also played over at Newmarket, with Charlotte Facto (Newmarket) winning her group, with Krittika D’Silva the Best of the Rest after a narrow 4-5 loss to group winner Scott-Geddes. That evening, the top two groups with the lowest handicaps played in Cambridge. This served as a preview of the Cup matches to come, but saw some excellent tennis. Charles Defries (Oxford) arrived late owing to the withdrawal of Rory Giddins (Oxford), but then breezed past Jimmy Campbell (Cambridge) and Oliver Martyn-Hemphill (Durham). Finally, George Skinner (Durham) came tantalisingly close, but was beaten by Felix White (Newcastle) in a tense 5-4 showdown.

Saturday would see most of the knockout phases of the Inter-University Cup. These produced a series of very close and very long matches that would put the schedule hours behind. The biggest run was made by the Bristol team of Louis Richards and Jamie Day. After a narrow 8-6 game between Richards and Felix Delaforce (Exeter) which included 14 deuces, their match against the Cambridge 2 team of Jack Drew and Ben Geytenbeek was tied 1-1 after the singles. Cambridge took too long to settle down in the doubles, and some excellent railroad serves from Day took Bristol to victory. Newcastle 2 received nothing but consolation for their doubles win over Cambridge 3’s Ivo Macdonald and Aaron Wienkers, after Wienkers has held on 8-7 against William Robertson.

Elsewhere, the tournament debut for St Andrew’s University did not go well, losing to the Newcastle pair of Charles Walker and Charles Seddon. However, the top seeds of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Newcastle were a class above the rest of the field, all breezing through the quarter-finals, except a tight 8-7 victory for James Bargent (Newcastle) over Jamie Day (Bristol). Over at Newmarket, Elle Curzon Green (Cambridge) became the final group winner in the Handicap Singles tournament, rushing back to Cambridge for the knock-out stages.

Running over-time, the last few matches of the day was the round of 16 of the handicap singles. Notable matches included Elle Curzon Green (Cambridge) starting with a 43 point handicap advantage and banned chases worse than 3 against Charles Defries (Oxford), and pulled through to a 6-4 victory. Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the tournament came between Trevor Jones (St Mary’s) and Louis Richards (Bristol). At 5-all, 40-all, match point, Richards let go of his racket during his serve, and Jones capitalised by making a chase of a yard. But then a below-average serve saw Richards pummel the ball straight and hard into the dedans to win the match.

The excitement carried on to the Pol Roger Champagne Reception and Tournament Dinner held at the University Athletics Pavilion, down the road from the tennis courts. The Pavilion had been transformed into a lovely dinner venue and we were fortunate to have the company of a handful of tennis greats – Paul Weaver and Duncan Colquhoun, current over 60s Doubles champions, along with Chris Bray, former British Number 1 – to add even more inspiration to the event. Paul and Tori Weaver joined us as representatives of the Dedanist’s Foundation, which gives considerable support to many of the Clubs which enter the Inter-Universities Tournament. It was a great evening with a well-earned glass of Pol Roger Champagne followed by some excellent red and white wine to accompany the delicious meal. Many thanks were given to Pol during the speeches, for their fine contribution to the event.

2018 Inter-University Cup Winners, Rory Giddins & Charlie Defries, Oxford

Sunday was the final day of the tournament. In the handicap singles, Felix Delaforce (Exeter) and Juan Camacho (Middlesex) breezed through their quarter and semi-finals. The final match was a test of Delaforce’s rackets skills of boasting and retrieving against Camacho’s solid forehand and reliable volley. Ultimately, Delaforce took a good victory, 8-3. In the Inter-University Cup, both Oxford and Cambridge beat Newcastle and Durham to turn the final into an abbreviated Varsity Match; a sneak preview to the match at Lord’s in March. Ed Hyde (Cambridge) retrieved well against Rory Giddins (Oxford), taking victory in his match. But Charles Defries (Oxford) returned serve well against Jimmy Campbell (Cambridge), and despite a close match, Defries was able to put it to a deciding doubles. Oxford held against everything that the Cambridge pair threw at them, ultimately taking the match and the 2018 Inter-University Cup.

Jimmy Campbell & Ed Hyde, Cambridge

It was a hugely successful tournament, and accolades must be given to the Cambridge professionals Kees Ludekens and Peter Paterson, along with Vix Harvey for their hard work organising the tournament and marking all of the matches on the final day. Thanks also to the Dedanist’s Foundation and the T&RA for their support of the event. It was a fantastic tournament, and great showcase of the talent in the future of the game.

Ben Geytenbeek, reporting from the Cambridge Dedans.

Down the line, Jimmy. Down the line…

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East Anglia Pennant: CURTC vs Hatfield House @CURTC

35-45 Julian Stafford
45-55 Jim Ludekens
55-65 Alan Sharpe
55-65 Linda Fairbrother
HH Team
35-45 Don Fahrenheim
45-55 James Barlow
55-65 Steve Sullivan
55-65 Sarah Sullivan
Results: Singles
Alan vs Sarah: 5-3
Linda vs Steve: 6-0
Jim vs Roger: 6-5
Julian vs Don: 6-0
Results: Doubles
Alan and Linda vs Steve and Sarah: 6-1
Julian and Jim vs Don and Roger: 2-6

Alan pushed Sarah to the time limit in a great back and forth match; and secured victory 5 games to 3. Linda didn’t let Sarah’s husband Steve in at any point during the one sided epic, securing a 6-0 victory.

Julian faced a tough handicap against Don but played fiercely to achieve a comprehensive victory. Jim fought hard to win his match with a smaller but no less troublesome handicap deficit.

Linda and Alan stayed on top, beating the Sullivans 6-1 in the doubles; Jim and Julian faced a wall in their match, finally succumbing the brutal handicap. Jim has decided to reintroduce his stool in the first gallery for the next doubles battle.

Jim’s Mum Louise provided a banquet to finish the evening for both the pennant crew and the doubles league, so a very good feast was had by all.

Jim Ludekens

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Fahey chalks up another Open title – 50 and counting…Doubles tonight

Congratulations to Rob Fahey, who claimed his 50th Open title at Queen’s last night. If you missed it, the stream of the match is here:

Will he make it 51 with the Doubles? Play starts at 6.00pm tonight (Tuesday 20th). Search T&RA on YouTube to find the live stream.

Picture courtesy of Cambridge News

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Dark Blue Wash*

CURTC, Not very many – Lots, OUTC

*No, it’s not a program on your washing machine.
It’s always a pleasure to welcome the other place to the Home of Real Tennis and this Saturday was no exception. Indeed, very welcoming hosts we were in allowing our visitors full use of the winners column. Credit to Ollie Brenton & Dave Isherwood who won sets in the Singles, especially Ollie who might have spared our blushes if his match had not been interrupted.
‘We will get ’em in the Doubles’ also proved a vain hope as our two Doubles pairs continued the welcoming host theme of the Singles matches and managed to come second by identical scores. Nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable day of tennis and lunch. We look forward to visiting the other place again next year!

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New East Anglian Pennant – 1st round WIN!

The new East Anglian league got off to a great start last Thursday at Hatfield House, where we won 4-2. Richard Jones and Ben Geytenbeek both claimed victory over husband and wife team Sarah and Steve Sullivan in their respective singles matches as well as the doubles. Jim Ludekens (captain) won his singles. Julian was making a fierce comeback to level the score but time was called before he could finish. Jim and Julian started well in their doubles but had an ‘iffy’ patch which allowed their opponents to close the gap and come out on top. The dinner was delicious – bangers and mash and an excellent apple pie. After a great evening, Cambridge left as the winners, looking forward to the next round.

Jim Ludekens

For the results… Read More

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Battle of the Amateur Champions

Battle of the Amateur Champions-1

Giraffe Club Cup & Blues Reunion, 1 – 3 February 2019

The Giraffe Club Cup is an exciting new annual CURTC tournament. Read More

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Victory in the North

Our esteemed Fixtures Secretary is keeping quiet about this – but CONGRATULATIONS, Christie, that trip to the Jesmond Dene invitational doubles seems to have paid off!

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