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Finals Day, Saturday February 18th

Please come along to the Club and support our worthy Finalists!

Finals Day schedule

or image below..


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Varsity Team Announcement

At the kind invitation of the Master of St John’s and CURTC member Herbie, the teams were introduced for this year’s Varsity Match sponsored by Pol Roger hosted by the MCC at Lords under the auspices of the Tennis & Rackets Association.
Looking forward to renewing our rivalries with the Other Place!! It all starts here in Cambridge with the 2nds Varsity on Feb 24/25 with the Varsity match at Lords a week later.

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A Hatfield Day Out, Sunday January 15th

Camice Revier’s win at 5 all, 40 all in the third to start the day followed by Alasdair Bovaird and Jonathan Wallach’s two set romp suggested the day was ours. And then it all went wrong. In true Cambridge fashion, Tony Revier and Alan Harris politely lost their 5 all, 40 all in the third match as the host’s last serve of the day hit a flat spot and died. It was probably an omen. Steve Chadwick and Nicholas Heath won their middle set 0/6 but lost the other two 6/5. Dave Pimblett had overtrained so in his stead Jin Lee paired with Christie Marian in their all too quick defeat. Over three sets Andrew Petrie won more games than his opponent but you know the rest.

Hatfield’s Joe Thompson wined and dined us very well all afternoon. That we lost overall should have been no surprise. We want to be invited back, after all! Also many thanks to Hatfield’s Pro (Jon), Team and Captain (Joe) for their warm welcome.

Over the weekend Camice never spoke of her nail biting victory once. Honestly. Not once.

Tony Revier

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Dr Nigel Brown, O.B.E.

Sadly, we report that Nigel died peacefully on January 19th, 2023.

Nigel Brown @The Hyde, 2016

Nigel, together with Fiona, was a crucial and seemingly ever-present member of Cambridge University Real Tennis Club for close to fifty years. A Renaissance man of many talents and enthusiasms, Nigel discovered real tennis as a convert from squash, and became both a very good player and a passionate lover and advocate of the game in all its aspects. Coached initially by Brian Church, Nigel never ceased to analyse the game – and his own game – and to seek to improve his technique and tactical skills, as I was able to witness at first hand as a regular opponent, but also as one of his doubles partners. It was impossible not to enjoy a game with, or against, Nigel, so infectious was his enthusiasm. As in everything he undertook, he wanted everyone to share his passion, and his unwavering support and generous sponsorship helped to ensure the steady development of the club. Without his advocacy and contribution, for example, it’s unlikely that the world champion Rob Fahey would have thrown his lot in with Cambridge, to the inestimable benefit of the club, and to the evident progress of many individual players, particularly the younger generation, who Nigel consistently encouraged.

Nigel clearly believed in the old adage, that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing very well, and he was adept at persuading others to adopt that philosophy. He genuinely wanted the pleasure he derived from real tennis to be shared as widely as possible, and was constantly introducing others to the delights of the game, either as players, sponsors, or spectators. And all this was achieved with modesty and great good humour, and infused with a terrific sense of fun, without any sense of rush – so it was a shock to learn, or remember, that he was a man of so many other commitments, responsibilities and interests, deservedly recognised by, for examples, his O.B.E. (2008), his honorary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University (2004), his appointment as High Sheriff for Cambridgeshire (2010/2011), or his Honorary Fellowship at Hughes Hall, or his Associateship of the Royal Academy of Music  Then there is his successful business career, as the founder of N.W. Brown Group Ltd., the classical music agency Hazard Chase, the Stradivari Trust, and numerous Chairmanships of public bodies such as the Greater Cambridge Partnership and the Arts Theatre Trust. The list is seemingly endless, and I am only mentioning the areas that I became aware of through conversations over the fifty years or so of our friendship. For more detail, I think you will find the Hughes Hall posting, and the citation for Nigel’s doctorate from Anglia Ruskin, especially illuminating. Also, under the Stradivari Trust, the story of how Nigel came to acquire a Stradivarius for Nigel Kennedy.

Nigel was a wonderful companion, full of warmth and positivity, and a very generous man, especially with his time. He enjoyed fine wine, and introducing it to his guests. I remember one evening when we drank a delicious Chateau Palmer, a wine I’d tasted at the vineyard near Bordeaux earlier in the year, so precious that we had not been allowed to buy even one bottle.  Something special, to be shared with friends. I find it hard to realise that Nigel, with all his dynamism, is no longer a part of the Cambridge and national scene. Fiona’s death coincided with a sudden decline in his own health, and in recent months he had been a shadow of his former unique personality.  But he leaves a rich legacy.  We send our sincere condolences to his son Ben, and to the rest of his family.

Peter Raby, former CURTC President

NWB Canford

Fiona & Nigel @Canford in June 2016

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National School Girls Level Singles and Doubles Championships U19 @Wellington 14/15 January 2023

Congratulations to Bella Harvey who reached the Final of the Singles and went one better by winning the Doubles!

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MCC vs Oxbridge

Arthur, Ollie & Jin

Last Saturday 14th Jan, Cambridge students were invited to play at the MCC courts at Lord’s. (So were Oxf*rd but that is insignificant #GDBO). All matches were played off-level, best out of 3 sets (3-3 in the final set). Despite an average of 6 handicap differences, all three Cambridge players put up an impressive fight.

I was the first one up for Cambridge facing MCC’s recent apprentice, Nat Cherry (36.4), winning the first set 6-4 but losing the next two 3-6 and 3-6. Much to learn yet a step closer to finding the rhythm of the game.

Arthur Adams (43.0) faced ever-so-calm Richard Lawrence (36.0). There were one too many outstanding rallies that left the audience in awe. Although Richard secured the match at 6-4/6-1, Arthur showed so much potential to be in a much lower handicap; it has certainly fired him up for the upcoming Varsity selection tournament.

Ollie Hilton (46.0) battled it out against a fast improver, Mark Clifford (42.5) who showcased an unorthodox yet superbly effective style. From the first set, we know this was going to be a marathon. Mark secured the first set 6-4, and started to dominate the second, reaching 5-1. Oliver was not ready to let this pass, however. He secured the next 5 games, winning the second 6-5. The third set was even more nail-biting, reaching 5-5; Mark’s relentless hitting found the base of the tambour every other shot, and won the third set and the match.

On behalf of the students, I would like to thank Simon Talbot-Williams (MCC match manager), Chris Bray (Head Pro), Nat Cherry (Apprentice) and the MCC players for their warm hospitality and insightful match advice during dinner.

Jin Lee, Men’s Captain 2022-2023

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Giraffe Club Cup: Div 1 Final

[Update, link to Google Photos Album of the individual photos and more HERE]

I think no one would disagree that the Division 1 Final was the ‘match of the day’. Fresh from relatively easy semi final victories, Ed and Patrick took an early lead against Jin and Andy in spite of a substantial handicap disadvantage. However they never led by more than a couple of games and Jin and Andy finally coerced the odd mistake from their opponents and the score reached 7-all. Andy had the serve and three match points but crucially gave up a chase. A couple of Patrick’s volleys took the score to 40-all before Jin played one of the most outrageous lobs I have seen. It went so high, it disappeared from sight for those in the Dedans before creeping into the Dedans at such a steep angle it was all but unreturnable!

GCC2022, Final Division 1

While Andy kept his feet firmly on terra firma, Jin & Patrick had no such compunctions and treated us to some mind boggling volleying if you were quick enough to catch them. The collage doesn’t do them justice but …


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Giraffe Club Cup Finals: Part 1

After the morning Group Stage, it was on to lunch and the Finals. Our semi opponents clearly lunched well and we succumbed without even a chase… But the other matches were much more interesting!

GTCC2022, Plate Final Division 2

ps several folks remarked that if the orange sweater’ed Howard had done a handstand he would essentially have disappeared!

GCC2022: Plate Final Division 1

GCC2022, Division 2 Final

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Giraffe Club Cup, 26/11/22

Last Saturday saw the 2022 Giraffe Club Cup take place at CURTC. Almost all the pairs comprised of a student partnering a senior member. As you can imagine this led to some remarkably competitive tennis!

The morning comprised of the Group stage where four groups played a round robin to determine who played when during the afternoon. The camera was not everywhere but here are a couple of collages!

GCC2022, Group Stage (1)

GCC2022, Group Stage (2)

GCC2022, Group Stage (3)

All the results can be found HERE

More to come…

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Intraclub Student Tournament

Finalists: Matthew Levine & Julius Gasson vs Igor Sterner & Danny Leboff

On Friday 11th November, our first student tournament was held. This was an exciting initiative driven by the new student committee members and aimed to foster an even more cohesive and inclusive environment at CURTC. We had a fantastic turnout with 4 pairs playing in a 20-minute timed Round Robin Stage. Despite the two captains’ desperate efforts to keep ahead, the weight of the heavily cut tennis balls were too much for their left-hands to handle. After some great tennis, two top pairs (Igor Sterner & Danny Leboff and Matthew Levine & Julius Gasson) battled through the finals. Igor’s fluid forehands kept the ball off the corners while Danny’s agility illuminated the dedans as we mere mortals watched on. Some may say it was a battle between a spear and a shield. After a series of intense rallies, Matthew and Julius shifted the gear and started to crack what seemed to be an unbreachable shield. Appearing calmer and collected as the games went on, Mathew and Julius developed a better strategy, utilising the chases. They went on to seal the last game in style, winning 6-5.

The evening would not have been possible without the generous support from the Giraffe Club and students would like to thank the members as well as Andy Smith for their unquestionable care and empathy towards our mission of promoting friendly and inclusive club. Although not present on the day, our Pros continues to foster an open environment for students to develop their tennis both socially and competitively. So much goes behind the scenes and we, students, are forever grateful for their wisdom. We look forward to seeing even more students at our next event!

Jin Lee (Men’s Captain 2022/23)

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Cambridge vs The Oratory, Brodie Cup, 13/11/2022

Video starts with the 40 Singles

Congratulations to The Oratory!

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Callender Cup – Sunday 6th November @Wellington

The Callender Cup brings together the UK’s Real Tennis club handicap doubles representatives. This year John Reid and Joe Zygmunt made the trip to Wellington on CURTC’s behalf. They breezed through their round robin group while losing only two games in three matches.  Unfortunately, their quarter final ended with the 7-all, 40-all point going to their opponents from Prested… Still many congratulations Joe and John who sent this picture!

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CURTC visit to Oxford & Bristol

Oxford is a tricky place to play. It’s not just the dimensions but the bounce can test the bottom edge of one’s racket and don’t mention the tambour… However, the welcome was as always most generous and the tennis enjoyable although we had failed to trouble the win side of the scoresheet by the time I had to head west.

The court Bristol couldn’t be more different but it must be said the welcome and hospitality was just as warm (especially the post match chilli) Our injury depleted squad (get well soon guys!) rose early for a prompt 10am start and our first visit to the plus side of the scoresheet. Three of the four team members registered a win and we had a winning lead going into the final doubles (which proved to be just as well) as there is no such thing as a dead rubber in Real Tennis.

  • 10:00   Dan Brown v Alasdair Bovaird (5/9)
  • 10:45   Dan Brown & Alistair Roy v Alasdair Bovaird & Alex Ridgeon (9/7)
  • 11:30   Jonathan Brown v  Christie Marrian (5/9)
  • 12:15   Alistair Roy v Alex Ridgeon (6/9)
  • 13:00   Chris Harland & Luke Sutor v Jonathan Brown & Christie Marrian (6/1 6/5)

The Early Risers

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LRTA Handicap Tournaments @Prested Hall

Congratulations to Felicity Riddell-Bell who has had a great weekend at Prested Hall, winning the Div 2 doubles with her partner Saffron from Wellington and losing in the semi of the singles by the narrowest of margins!

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Emily in America

Congratulations Emily, the first ever* Varsity Real Tennis and Seabright Cup double!

*I’m pretty certain this is correct…

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