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!
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.
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.
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….
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.
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
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)
Video from last night…
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.
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.
Cambridge 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.
4pm this afternoon, Wednesday 16th November
links to all matches and live stream:
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…
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:
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.
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
…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
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
CURTC 4 – 2 MURTC
You’ve (no doubt) seen the movie but here are some Photos from the Exhibition Doubles!
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
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)
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.
Ed & 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!
Just 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.
.. and some tennis!
Some more PHOTOS
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.
… is underway. Some staggering handicap differences are being played!
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.
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